Posted by: zmanbackup | November 30, 2018

Friday Backup Post

We accidentally broke the comments section.  It should be back up over the weekend.

Please feel free to comment here until then.


Posted by: zmanbackup | October 7, 2018

Wrap – Week Ended 10.5.18

wrap 100518

Posted by: zmanbackup | July 17, 2017

Monday Morning



Market Sentiment Watch: Much quieter week on the economic data front. Should be a quiet week for political news as well with a delay in healthcare maneuvering. Expect a near term pick up in energyland news flow. In today’s post please find The Week That Was, and some other odds and ends.  The ZLT was up 5.2% last week (about 29% in cash) while the XOP was up 4.1% and the OIH was up 5.8%. In case you missed The Wrap you can check it out here.

Ecodata Watch:

  • We get Empire State at 8:30 am EST (no forecast, last read was 19.8).
  • We get the EIA monthly drilling productivity report before noon.

The Week Ahead: 

  • Tuesday – Import prices, home builders’ index,
  • Wednesday – Housing starts, building permits,
  • Thursday – Jobless claims, Philly Fed, leading economic indicators,
  • Friday – no data release scheduled.

In Today’s Post:

  1. Holdings Watch
  2. Commodity Watch
  3. The Week That Was
  4. Stuff We Care About Today
  5. Odds & Ends


Holdings Watch:

ZLT (Zman Long Term portfolio)

  • Last Week’s Trades: None
  • ​The Blotter is updated.
  • Cash is just under 29% of total assets.

Trades under near term consideration:

  • Adds to COG.  Likely headed from 2% to to 5%.
  • Plan to take JAG to 6% from current ~ 4.5% on substantial pull backs prior to the 2Q17 report.
  • Any DJ Basin adds are on hold until 2Q17 reports (combined position in SRCI and XOG is under 3% of total ZLT.
  • MTDR is likely to see a bump higher soon.
  • Service name additions are under consideration as well.
  • Considering parking 5% of cash in VNOM (currently unowned).

ZLT Positions: See primary site (when available). 

Commodity Watch

Crude oil rose 5% to close at $46.54 last week with another better than expected EIA weekly report overcoming an OPEC monthly that was more of a mixed bag. Cushing stocks are now down 10% YoY. OPEC chatter intensified around an emergency meeting set for today and about potentially including Nigeria in the group of countries with production caps. Brent closed up 5% as well while the OPEC basket lost 2%. Please see comments on the EIA Weekly and OPEC in The Week That Was below.  This morning crude is trading flat.

Natural gas rose 4% to close at $2.98 last week on an inline storage injection. The 12 month strip rose 4% as well to $3.05. Storage relative to year ago levels and the five year average tread water for the week. We expect a much smaller injection this week.   This morning gas is trading up 4 cents.

Tropics Watch: Central Atlantic disturbance with 40% chance of near term development.

Weather Watch:

Last week:  

  • Cooling Degree Days (CDDs) came in at 84 vs 73 normal and 82 in the prior week.

This week’s forecast:  

  • This week, CPC predicts CDDs will rise to 96 vs 75 normal.

The Week That Was

weekly wrap 071417

Stuff We Care About Today

Other Stuff

  • Look for additional Catalyst List updates this week as we prep for the 2Q17 reporting season.

Odds & Ends

Analyst Watch:

  • TBA in comments if we see any.
Posted by: zmanbackup | March 29, 2017

All Is Well

The Main sites, and are functioning normally. Please go there. 

Posted by: zmanbackup | November 25, 2016

Friday Morning

Welcome to the backupsite. We had technical difficulties last evening with our primary server. We will be posting here until further notice (which should be soon). Apologies for the bare bones post today but we lost our prepared remarks for Friday when the server dropped.  If you wish to comment on the backup site, you will need to register with the backup site (register below via the login link in the comments field).

Oil closed down 7 cents at $47.96 on Wednesday in a low volatility session after EIA posted the fairly neutral inventory reported outlined below. Later in the day oil directed rigs rose by 3 to 474 vs 555 a year ago. We expect a fairly narrow range and low volume session today with volatility picking back up next week in front of the OPEC meeting. This morning oil is trading off $0.60 early.

Natural Gas rose 4 cents to close at $3.03 after EIA reported the first withdrawal of the season. Just 2 Bcf but the consensus was calling for a positive 7 and while we may still get one more small injection this season on holiday related slack demand we have essentially peaked with the long held expectation band of 3.95 to 4.05 Tcf. We see natural gas remaining within our near term expectations band of $2.80 to $3.10 until we get a more solid handle on the tail end of the winter forecast. This morning natural gas is trading flat.

Natural Gas Inventory Review and Oil Inventory Review






Posted by: zmanbackup | November 24, 2016

Thanksgiving 2016


Our normal site is offline due to technical difficulties. We are working with our host to remedy the issue.

Thanks for understanding, have a happy rest of your Thanksgiving, and Best,


Posted by: zmanbackup | December 8, 2014

Monday Morning – 12/8/14

We are experiencing technical difficulties withe main site today. Please comment here if you can’t find us there and we will get back to you.

Posted by: zmanbackup | November 30, 2014

Sunday Evening

Main site is undergoing server maintenance.

Posted by: zmanbackup | November 28, 2014

Friday Back Up Post

Market Sentiment Watch: No cut by OPEC, analysts, reporters, traders disappointed. Please see our notes from the conference below as there is going to be a lot of press spin on this and not everything was negative.  In today’s post please find the natural gas and inventory reviews and notes and thoughts from the OPEC meeting. It’s going to be an ugly open and we plan on doing some shopping at lower E&P prices but likely not until next week. In our view, we’d rather let oil find a new comfortable trading range before attempting to catch falling knives in good or riskier names. It will be interesting to see if the gassy names see any interest now that OPEC is out of the way (lower oil prices are good for them in some ways). Likely on this shortened session we don’t see a lot of discriminating among E&Ps however. All eyes will be on crude, looking for the reversal of the now 4 month plus long trade against crude to occur.

Ecodata Watch: 

  • No economic data release

In Today’s Post:

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

Please click the link right below this toHoldings 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 fell $0.40 to close at $73.69 on Wednesday but is trading off $4.50 this morning at $69 after OPEC’s decision not to cut it’s 30 MM bopd official quota (after falling to as low as $67.75 overnight). This is is the expected test of $70 on OPEC inaction on the quota front. Everyone seemed to expect no cut but actually hearing no cut and an oft repeated comment that OPEc will produce 30 MM/d next year is prompting a break down in Brent and WTI and global prices in general to fresh four year lows. Would also not be surprised to see a near term key reversal day (ugly red open, green close) as the move is really just extending prices lower after a rapid and significant down draft in the face of no meaningful fundamental shift since summer. Please see our comments below in the Stuff section.

Oil Inventory Review

exp vs act 112114


EIA 112114 A


EIA 112114 B

Natural gas closed off five cents at $4.36 on Wednesday as it yoyo’d about before and after the record withdrawal announced a day early due to the holiday. The massive 162 Bcf withdrawal provides a better than expected early salvo in the withdrawal season, something traders will like to see as it provides cover relative to ongoing new record high lower 48 production levels.  This morning gas is trading a dime plus.

Natural Gas Storage Review

gas table 112114


gas graph 112114

Stuff We Care About Today  

OPEC notes from yesterday’s meeting – augmented where noted.

OPEC Watch: The Opening Address with ZComments as noted in ():

  • OPEC said they spoke of improving stability at the last meeting 5 months ago,
  • Economic recovery has continued to improve since then
  • OPEC sees 3.2% growth in 2014 (global GDP), sees 3.6% growth in 2015.  This is verbatim from the November OPEC monthly,
  • OPEC sees 1.1 mm bopd growth to 92.3 mm bopd in 2015 (also unchanged from recent guidance)
  • Demand growth mostly from non-OECD countries (this has been the case for quite some time now with no expectation of significant growth from US and Europe),
  • OPEC sees non OPEC supply up 1.4 mm bopd in 2015, mostly from North America, some Brazil,
  • Oil pricing has changed in last few months, after having been stable for 3.5 years (no kidding)
  • The fall in prices may not be completely attributed to oil market fundamentals; stronger dollar and economic uncertainty and speculators have played a roll
  • If negative price path continues expansion plans may be put at risk,
  • Pricing action suggests market is searching for stability and balance.
  • Discussions will focus on balance, looking for the good for consumers and producers alike (boiler plate comment)
  • OPEC encouraged by talks with non OPEC producers and agencies like IEA (they later said it’s not about cooperation).

OPEC Watch 2: Closing Address

  • Stable oil prices that didn’t affect growth projects and were good for producers is what is being sought (key message, don’t panic)
  • Maintaining the 30 mm bopd output level (same level they have had since December 2011)
  • Will continue to closely monitor developments in supply and demand (at the current Strip, demand should rise above current estimates)
  • Next meeting June 5, 2015 (as expected, not projecting any sense of urgency on prices)

OPEC Watch 3: Post meeting Q&A

  • Q) Reuters – are your members pleased with the agreement and do you see members complying?
  • A) Ministers are happy.  I’m sure members will comply. Debated prices and fundamentals for 2 to 3 hours. Result of that debate was to say at 30 mm bopd
  • Q) Are you happy to let prices drift lower to protect share, is that the signal you are sending?
  • A) We don’t want to panic, we’re not sending a signal, prices have been good for a long time, decline of the price does not reflect the fundamentals, again not sending a signal, we have no target price, just a fair price. (I think they are putting a little doubt into NAM capex plans but also not seeing as big a gap next year now as their “Call on OPEC” numbers indicate).
  • Q) cooperation with non-OPEC and Russia in particular?
  • A) we compare our numbers with them but have no cooperation. (that answer will be seen as a disappointment, especially as it pertains to Russia
  • Q) Asked to talk about production specifically in the first half of 2015.
  • A) “We cannot produce 30 mm bopd” – this is the cut.  ZComment: Quota cut no, coming production cut yes. They act to balance markets and will do so, as usual in light of seasonal concerns. 

OPEC Watch 4:  More ZComments.

  • This is not the end of the world.  We would have preferred to see a quota reduction to 29.2 to 29.5 mm bopd (to get close to the “Call” on OPEC, but as noted in the post, individual member country allocations are no longer in play, not since 2006, and as noted a number of times, Saudi sees no reason to be the offset valve at the quota level to non-OPEC supply growth.
  • However, a small change would have been doable as evidenced by comments from some players pre meeting. I do not buy the argument being made by some that OPEC has lost control of its members or that it has lost power in the market place. They are a third of the market.
  • We continue to see OPEC as managing production through the seasonal demand dip of 1H15 to ensure balance.  OPEC is not dumb. They have a good grasp of this (and graph of it).
  • While a 0.5 mm bopd cut may have soothed markets it would not have been enough, by itself, to balance markets in 2015.  A bigger cut however might have signaled panic, as was the case in how the market took the 4.8 mm bopd in 4Q08.
  • We see more upside than downside from a mid $70’s price level, let alone the sub $70 level WTI traded to just after the meeting. Said that before the meeting and still see that.
  • This is not my first rodeo. Recall we had prices trailing lower into YE2014 in a post here at the end of YE2013. Please take a look at it. We’ll have a version out for 2015 close to the end of the year. We do expect lower prices to increase demand. We do expect lower prices to prompt lower spending in the U.S. and to reduce U.S. production growth (see note above in the oil production section of the Oil Inventory slide show – it still will grow but less than expected in estimates currently describing the Call on OPEC).
  • When items from the preceding bullet point become plain we expect a modest rebound in prices, the magnitude of which will in large part depend on the moves by US E&P to trim spending/rigs and by the improved global economy on lower energy prices.
  • Our near term sense is that 4Q will end in the $70’s not the $60s but near term price projections are not generally our thing. We see 2015 pricing as likely rising as the year progresses as the market takes into account OPEC production cuts that will occur in 1H15.

Odds & Ends

Analyst Watch:

No stock specific comments that we see.

Posted by: zmanbackup | November 18, 2014

Tuesday 11/18/14 – Site Temporarily Off Line


Our primary site is currently down and we are working to restore the connection.

Apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.  If you have questions please ask them here until further notice.

Tuesday’s Post:

Market Sentiment Watch: Expect low E&P news flow but rising OPEC chatter between now and month end. On the oil watch side of things, prices continue to be suppressed in front of events at the end of the month. Not surprisingly, in E&P, buyers remain on strike. In today’s post please find a couple of cheat sheet updates with notes as we play catchup post quarter.

Ecodata Watch:

  • We get PPI at 8:30 am EST (F = -0.1%, last read -0.1%),
  • We get the Home builders’ index at 10 am EST (F = 55, last read was 54).

In Today’s Post:

  1. Holdings Watch
  2. Commodity Watch
  3. Stuff We Care About Today – Cheat Sheet Updates (MRD, MTDR)
  4. Odds & Ends

Click the link directly 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 eased $0.18 to close at $75.64 yesterday, moving lower with the contraction in Japanese GPD and the commensurate move higher in the dollar index and with a lack of further meaningful commentary out of OPEC players.  This morning crude is trading flat.

  • From Russia With Love Watch: Russian oil tsar to attend OPEC meeting. IF other people get to say “this time it’s different” then maybe this time it will be for Russia, who gets the invite to the semi annual meeting but always gives OPEC the high hat as far as actually agreeing to help out at the end fo the day. See story here.
  • Early Read on Oil Inventories:
    • Crude: Down 0.4 mm barrels
    • Gasoline: Up 0.2 mm barrels
    • Distillates: Down 2.0 mm barrels

Natural gas jumped $0.32 (8%) to close at $4.34 yesterday on the colder than forecast weather last week and the much colder than normal forecast for this week. The front month now looks like this but we would expect gains to prove fleeting (with a warming spell forecast for the week end. We’ll prolonged cold to sustain prices north of $4 given current record high production volumes.  This morning gas is trading down 4 pennies.

Stuff We Care About Today

MRD Cheat Sheet Update

  • One of the few names we track and hold that is not only not planning to reduce capex in 2015 but is also a) looking to significantly increase it (by ~ 30% on the mid given the 2015 preliminary budget AND b) still not outspending cash flow.  We would label this combination rare for 2015.
  • They remain gassy at 78% of volumes in 3Q14 but have hedges covering about 88% of expected 2015 natural gas production at about $4,
  • Much of the current program is proving up acreage outside of their original 3P boundary suggesting a large increase in reserves with the report next April which will help make the name look increasingly cheap in the land of I’m-gassy-and-I-have-monster-wells-in-three-and-maybe-four-stacked-pays-and-I’m-not outstpending-my-cash-flow-and-I-have-excess-liquidity players
  • Valuation isn’t wildly compelling here on a TEV / forward EBITDA basis but as with all of gassy names, valuation under depressed pricing scenarios keys more off of the large potential reserve base that is currently only partially delineated.
  • We continue to own a half Core position in the ZLT and plan to bolster it opportunistically over time.

MRD 111714

MTDR Cheat Sheet Update and Comments

  • If oil stays at $80 in 2015, expect them to hold spending flat or just under 2014 levels at $570
  • On a flat budget they see growth in 2015 of 50%,
  • Balance sheet remains in very good shape at 0.9x debt to 2014E EBITDA,
  • Production mix is 57% and should edge slightly higher in 2015; hedges cover only about a quarter of expected oil production next year with floors in the low $80s so that like,
  • At $80 oil in 2015, we see debt metrics remaining solid as project EBITDA of roughly $330 mm leading to an entirely manageable level outspend next year (would take debt to roughly 1.5x debt/EBITDA in 2015),
  • Value: Never more BOE’s backing up each share and rarely cheap on a flowing BOE basis.
  • MTDR remains a Core Position in the ZLT.

MTDR 111714

Other Stuff

  • Look for the Bakken Players update slide show later this week

Odds & Ends

Analyst Watch:

  • TBA in comments.

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