Monday, April 30, 2012

Crude Oil, Natural Gas and Gold Market Commentary For Monday April 30th

Why the U.S. Dollar is Critical for the S&P 500 Index this Week

Crude oil [June contract] closed higher on Monday and the high range close sets the stage for a steady to higher opening on Tuesday. Stochastics and the RSI remain bullish signaling that sideways to higher prices are possible near term. Closes above the reaction high crossing at 105.50 are needed to confirm that a short term trend change has taken place. If June renews the decline off March's high, the 38% retracement level of the October-March rally crossing at 98.14 is the next downside target. First resistance is the reaction high crossing at 105.50. Second resistance is the reaction high crossing at 105.99. First support is April's low crossing at 101.22. Second support is the 38% retracement level of the October-March rally crossing at 98.14.

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Natural gas [June contract] closed higher on Monday and above the 20 day moving average crossing at 2.143 as it extended the rally off last week's low. The high range close sets the stage for a steady to higher opening on Tuesday. Stochastics and the RSI are bullish signaling that sideways to higher prices are possible near term. If June extends the rally off last week's low, the reaction high crossing at 2.335 is the next upside target. If June renews the multi year decline, monthly support crossing at 1.620 is the next downside target. First resistance is today's high crossing at 2.294. Second resistance is the reaction high crossing at 2.335. First support is the 10 day moving average crossing at 2.102. Second support is the reaction low crossing at 1.982.

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Gold closed higher [June contract] on Monday and the high range close sets the stage for a steady to higher opening on Tuesday. Stochastics and the RSI remain bullish signaling sideways to higher prices are possible near term. Closes above the reaction high crossing at 1699.60 are needed to confirm that a short term low has been posted. If June renews the decline off February's high, the 75% retracement level of the December-February rally crossing at 1595.00 is the next downside target. First resistance is the reaction high crossing at 1681.30. Second resistance is the reaction high crossing at 1699.60. First support is April's low crossing at 1613.00. Second support is the 75% retracement level of the December-February rally crossing at 1595.00.

Dollar Likely Holds Clues Regarding the Immediate Future

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Why the U.S. Dollar is Critical for the S&P 500 Index this Week

Recently I have been advising members of my service to be cautious as the market appears to be at a major crossroads. The U.S. Dollar Index is on the verge of a major breakdown. If a breakdown occurs it will be clear that the Federal Reserve will have officially stopped any potential rise in the U.S. Dollar. 

If the U.S. Dollar pushes down below the recent lows and we get continuation to the downside, we will break the recent bullish pattern. Furthermore, if the Dollar starts to weaken it should benefit equities and other risk assets such as oil. Higher energy prices would not be long term bullish for equity markets so there is concern if the Dollar really starts to extend lower.
Over the past few months the Dollar has been producing a series of higher highs and higher lows, however the current cycle may break the pattern.....as can be seen here.

Top 5 Producing States Combined Marketed Natural Gas Output Rose in 2011

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Combined marketed natural gas production from the top five natural gas producing states...Texas, Louisiana, Wyoming, Oklahoma, and Colorado increased by about 7.5% in 2011, although their share of total U.S. natural gas output fell slightly to about 65%.

Marketed natural gas production from these states in 2011 totaled 15.7 trillion cubic feet (Tcf), according to annual data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The drop in their combined share of total U.S. production reflects increased contributions from other states, particularly those in which operators significantly expanded development of shale gas formations. Shale gas production from states such as Pennsylvania helped boost overall U.S. natural gas output by almost 8% in 2011.

graph of Annual natural gas production from top five U.S. states, 2000-2011, as described in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Marketed Natural Gas Production, and Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation 

Due primarily to drilling programs in the Marcellus shale formation, Pennsylvania's marketed natural gas production in 2011 more than doubled to nearly 1.3 Tcf, according to preliminary estimates from Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection. Arkansas has also seen strong growth in its marketed natural gas production, with output more than tripling since 2007 due mainly to increased production in the Fayetteville shale play.

Alaska is the country's second leading natural gas producer in terms of gross withdrawals, but most of the state's production is not brought to market, as production volumes far exceed local demand and there is insufficient pipeline capacity to transport the gas to distant markets. Most of Alaska's natural gas not brought to market is re-injected into existing oil fields to provide sufficient pressure to maintain oil production rates.

Highlights from the top marketed natural gas producing states in 2011.....

Texas: Natural gas production increased 4.5% from the year before to the highest level since 1980, due in part to growing output from the Eagle Ford shale formation where drillers who are aggressively pursuing high-value liquid hydrocarbons are also producing growing amounts of natural gas.

Louisiana: Natural gas production increased 38% as the Haynesville shale gas formation in the northwest part of the state was one of the biggest shale gas producing plays in the United States.

Wyoming: Natural gas production fell 5.6% to the lowest level since 2007, as lower natural gas prices made coalbed methane gas that accounts for almost two-thirds of the state's natural gas production less profitable because high-priced gas liquids aren't normally found in coal seams.

Oklahoma: Natural gas production increased 3.9% to the second highest annual output since 1994 due to higher output in the Woodford shale play.

Colorado: Natural gas production grew about 1.4% as output increased for the 25th year in a row to break another record output high. The Niobrara shale play in the northeast corner of the state helped raise Colorado's natural gas production.

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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Friday, April 27, 2012

Occidental Petroleum Announces First Quarter of 2012 Income

* Q1 2012 net income of $1.6 billion ($1.92 per diluted share)

* Q1 2012 total daily oil and gas production of 755,000 barrels of oil equivalent, the highest in Occidental’s history

* Q1 2012 domestic daily oil and gas production of 455,000 barrels of oil equivalent, record for the 6th consecutive quarter.

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Occidental Petroleum Corp. (NYSE:OXY) announced net income of $1.6 billion ($1.92 per diluted share) for the first quarter of 2012, compared with the first quarter of 2011 net income of $1.5 billion ($1.90 per diluted share).

In announcing the results, Stephen I. Chazen, President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “For the quarter, we generated strong results with diluted EPS of $1.92 per share, cash flow from operations of $2.8 billion and annualized ROE of 16 percent. We increased our annual dividend rate by $0.32 per share, or 17 percent, to $2.16 per share.

“Our first quarter total company production of 755,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day was the highest in Occidental’s history and our domestic production of 455,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day was a record for the sixth consecutive quarter. We are the largest liquids producer in the lower 48 states and we increased our domestic liquids production by 6,000 barrels per day from the fourth quarter of 2011 and 35,000 barrels a day, or 12 percent, from the first quarter of 2011.”

Read the entire earnings report at oxy.com

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Chevron Reports Strong Earnings, Increases Dividend

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Chevron Corporation (NYSE: CVX) today reported earnings of $6.5 billion ($3.27 per share – diluted) for the first quarter 2012, compared with $6.2 billion ($3.09 per share – diluted) in the 2011 first quarter.

• Portfolio produces strong earnings and cash flows
• Key development projects on track to deliver longer-term volume growth
• Dividend increase raises yield to 3.4 percent

Sales and other operating revenues in the first quarter 2012 were $59 billion, compared to $58 billion in the year ago period.

Earnings Summary

                                                   Three Months
                                                   Ended March 31
Millions of dollars                                                                2012                 2011
Earnings by Business Segment
Upstream                                                                          $6,171              $5,977
Downstream                                                                         804                   622
All Other                                                                             (504)                 (388)

Total (1)(2)                                                                        $6,471              $6,211
(1) Includes foreign currency effects                                                            $(228)                     $(164)
(2) Net income attributable to Chevron Corporation (See the entire report)

“In the first quarter, we continued to post strong earnings and healthy cash flows,” said Chairman and CEO John Watson. “This has enabled us to both reward our shareholders with a substantial dividend increase, our third in just over a year, and to reinvest in profitable growth projects to help meet rising global energy demand. Our key development projects remain on track to deliver compelling volume growth over the next five years.” Watson continued, “New production is coming on as planned, and we continue to see strong customer interest in our Australia LNG projects that underpin our future growth.”

Read the entire report at Chevron.Com

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Gold Bears Still Have the Advantage Despite a Bullish Spike on Thursday

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June crude oil closed up $0.46 a barrel at $104.57 today. Prices closed nearer the session high again today. Bulls and bears are on a level near term technical playing field, but the bulls are having a good week.

June natural gas closed down 4.0 cents at $2.13 today. Prices closed near the session low but did hit a fresh three week high early on today. The bears still have the overall near term technical advantage. There are still no early clues to suggest a market low is close at hand.

June gold futures closed up $18.00 an ounce at $1,660.40 today. Prices closed nearer the session high today and hit a fresh two week high. Short covering and bargain hunting were featured today. The key “outside markets” were in a mildly bullish posture for gold today as the U.S. dollar index was weaker and crude oil prices were firmer.

Gold bears have the slight overall near term technical advantage. Prices still are in a two month old downtrend on the daily bar chart.

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PetroChina Blows Out Earnings Estimates

PetroChina Company Limited (NYSE:PTR) achieved stable and smooth production and operations in the first quarter of 2012 as it enhanced its management to cope with the complex and changing domestic and overseas environment. PetroChina successfully fulfilled its key operational indexes, made steady progress in the construction of key projects, engaged in the stable expansion of its overseas business, and continued to improve its safety and environmental protection. Through these efforts, PetroChina’s operational performance progressed steadily, thereby, getting off to a good start for the year.

In the first quarter of 2012, according to both the International Financial Reporting Standards and the Chinese Accounting Standards, net profit attributable to the owners of the Company was RMB39.153 billion, representing an increase of 5.8% as compared with the same period last year, and the basic earnings per share was RMB0.21.

In respect of its exploration and production operations, the Company gave top priority to exploration and continued to implement the “Peak Growth in Oil and Gas Reserves” Program. By drawing on the favorable opportunity posed by the increase in global oil prices, the Company actively organized production and operations. Crude oil production increased steadily, while natural gas production grew rapidly. In the first quarter of 2012, the Company produced 227.0 million barrels of crude oil, representing an increase of 3.6% as compared with the same period last year, and 710.9 billion cubic feet of marketable natural gas, representing an increase of 11.2% as compared with the same period last year.

Read the entire report at PetroChina.Com

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ExxonMobil Disappoints, Misses on Earnings

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“First quarter results reflect our ongoing focus on developing and delivering energy needed to support job creation and economic growth. Despite continuing economic uncertainty, we are progressing our robust investment plans to meet the energy demands of the future.

“Capital and exploration expenditures were $8.8 billion as we continue with plans to invest about $37 billion per year over the next five years. “We continued to generate strong cash flow from operations and asset sales with $21.8 billion in the quarter.

“First quarter earnings of $9.5 billion were down 11% from the first quarter of 2011.
“Oil equivalent production was down over 5% from 2011. Excluding the impact of higher prices on entitlement volumes, OPEC quota effects and divestments, production was down 1%.
“The Corporation distributed more than $7 billion to shareholders in the first quarter through dividends and share purchases to reduce shares outstanding.”

FIRST QUARTER HIGHLIGHTS

Earnings of $9,450 million, which included gains from asset sales of about $400 million, decreased 11% or $1,200 million from the first quarter of 2011. Earnings per share (assuming dilution) were $2.00, a decrease of 7%. Capital and exploration expenditures were $8.8 billion, up 13% from the first quarter of 2011. Oil equivalent production decreased over 5% from the first quarter of 2011.

Excluding the impact of higher prices on entitlement volumes, OPEC quota effects and divestments, production was down 1%. Cash flow from operations and asset sales was $21.8 billion, including proceeds associated with asset sales of $2.5 billion. Share purchases to reduce shares outstanding were $5 billion. Dividends per share of $0.47 increased 7% compared to the first quarter of 2011.

ExxonMobil and Rosneft announced the signing of agreements to progress a long term Strategic Cooperation Agreement to jointly explore for and develop oil and natural gas in Russia, and to share technology and expertise. Additionally, Rosneft will take equity in exploration and development projects in the United States and Canada.

In Romania, ExxonMobil’s affiliate drilled a successful deepwater new play test on the Neptun block in the Black Sea with the Deepwater Champion drillship and has additional 3D seismic data acquisition planned to support future drilling opportunities on the block.

ExxonMobil participated in a successful exploration well offshore Tanzania which discovered approximately 5 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas in a high quality reservoir. A second exploration well is planned to test another prospect on the block.

Get more details on year to year earnings at ExxonMobil.com

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Crude Oil Trades Near Highs of the Week as Fed Says it's Ready to Protect Growth

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Crude oil traded near the highest level in more than a week after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said that while further stimulus is unlikely, central banks “remain prepared to do more” to protect the economy.

Futures were little changed, paring an earlier gain after more Americans than forecast filed applications for unemployment benefits last week. Economic growth is expected to “remain moderate over coming quarters and then to pick up gradually,” the Federal Open Market Committee said in a statement. U.S. crude supplies gained more than estimated last week, and Iran’s envoy in Moscow said his country may halt the expansion of its atomic program to avert new Western sanctions.

“Bernanke will do something if things don’t get better,” said Hakan Kocayusufpasaoglu, chief investment officer at Archbridge Capital in Zug, Switzerland. “And when Bernanke says he’ll do whatever it takes to get the economic growth rate improving, that means the economic trajectory rises and oil demand increases over time. And his methods for doing something increase money supply, causing the dollar to depreciate and that lifts all commodities”

Read the entire Bloomberg article

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Ecopetrol Announces First Quarter 2012 Earnings Date, New Oil Discoveries



Ecopetrol of Columbia, which can be traded on the NYSE with ticker EC, will release on Monday, April 30th, 2012 after the markets close its results for the first quarter 2012.On Wednesday, May 2nd, Ecopetrol´s senior management will host two webcasts to review the results: Spanish Bogota 1:30 p.m.,New York / Toronto 2:30 p.m.and English Bogota 3:00 p.m.,4:00 p.m. New York / Toronto. We invite you to register for the webcast in English or in Spanish.


Ecopetrol announces the discovery of hydrocarbons in the Tisquirama Este-1 exploratory well, located in the municipality of San Martin, Cesar. In initial tests, the well produced 624 barrels of oil per day, with a water cut of less than 1% and API gravity of 23 degrees.


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Crude Oil Bulls and Bears Move into a Level Playing Field For Thusrday

June crude oil closed up $0.57 a barrel at $104.11 today. Prices closed nearer the session high today. Bulls and bears are on a level near term technical playing field amid choppy trading.

June natural gas closed up 12.5 cents at $2.188 today. Prices closed near the session high and hit a fresh two week high today. Short covering in a bear market was featured. The bears still have the overall near term technical advantage. There are still no early clues to suggest a market low is close at hand.

The June U.S. dollar index closed down 18 points at 79.14 today. Prices closed nearer the session low today and hit another fresh three week low. Bears have gained the slight near term technical advantage.

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National Oilwell Varco Announces First Quarter 2012 Earnings and Backlog

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National Oilwell Varco (NYSE: NOV) today reported that for its first quarter ended March 31, 2012 it earned net income of $606 million, or $1.42 per fully diluted share, compared to fourth quarter ended December 31, 2011 net income of $574 million, or $1.35 per fully diluted share. The first quarter 2012 results included transaction costs totaling $7 million pre-tax, and, excluding these, earnings were $612 million, or $1.44 per fully diluted share. Earnings per share improved 44 percent from the first quarter of 2011 and five percent from the fourth quarter of 2011, excluding transaction and devaluation charges from all periods.

Revenues for the first quarter of 2012 were $4.3 billion, an increase of one percent from the fourth quarter of 2011 and an increase of 37 percent from the first quarter of 2011. Operating profit for the quarter, excluding the transaction and devaluation charges, was $881 million, or 20.5 percent of sales. Sequentially, first quarter operating profit increased two percent, resulting in operating profit flow-through (change in operating profit divided by the change in revenue) of 48 percent, excluding transaction and devaluation charges. Year over year first quarter operating profit increased 40 percent, resulting in operating profit flow through of 22 percent, excluding transaction and devaluation charges.

Just click here to read the entire report

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The First Movers in Eco Drilling .... Going "Dopeless"

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"Dope" is the accepted term for a strong adhesive commonly used to bind huge strings of casing and other tubular goods together in oil and natural gas operations, but Tenaris, a global manufacturer and supplier of steel pipe products and related services for energy and for other industrial applications, would like to see the entire petro world go "dopeless."

Tenaris is in the Environmentally Friendly Drilling (EFD) program, which is led by the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC). The EFD project's objective is to identify, develop and test innovative technologies that reduce the environmental impact of O&G activities in sensitive areas, some of which have not yet been opened up for development. Tenaris' patented "dopeless" tubular connection technology ® is in HARC's portfolio of recommended products for the EFD initiative.

Read the entire Rigzone article.

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Project Sponsors are Seeking Federal Approval to Export Domestic Natural Gas

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Liquefied natural gas (LNG) project sponsors have been applying to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for authorization to export LNG produced from domestic natural gas and to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for approval to build liquefaction facilities to serve export markets (see map below). A higher price for LNG in international markets is a major motivation for these applications (see chart below).

map of Potential export-oriented natural gas liquefaction facilities, as of March 30, 2012, as described in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration

The United States currently only ships LNG overseas through re-exports of imported LNG from the Freeport terminal in Texas, and the Sabine Pass and Cameron terminals in Louisiana. In 2011, LNG re-exports totaled about 53 billion cubic feet (Bcf), up from about 33 Bcf in 2010. The Kenai LNG terminal in Alaska, the only terminal that exported LNG produced from domestic natural gas, has been inactive since December 2011.

graph of Annual U.S. natural gas, crude oil, and NGL production, 2000-2011, as described in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration



For more details visit the EIA website

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Crude Oil Finishes Higher on Positive Market News

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Crude oil closed up $0.39 a barrel at $103.50 today. Prices closed near mid range again today. Bulls and bears are on a level near term technical playing field. The next near term upside price breakout objective for the crude oil bulls is producing a close above solid technical resistance at $106.00 a barrel.

Natural gas closed down 3.2 cents at $2.064 today. Prices closed near the session low today. Prices Friday hit a contract and 10 year low. The bears have the solid overall near term technical advantage. There are still no early clues to suggest a market low is close at hand.

Gold futures closed up $11.80 an ounce at $1,644.40 today. Prices closed near mid-range today and saw short covering and bargain hunting. The key “outside markets” were in a bullish posture for gold today as the U.S. dollar index was weaker and crude oil prices were firmer. Gold bears still have the overall near term technical advantage. Prices are still in a seven week old downtrend on the daily bar chart.

All trading June contracts now.

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PXP Announces Offering Of $500 Million Of Senior Notes

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Plains Exploration & Production Company (NYSE: PXP) announced today that it intends to offer, subject to market and other conditions, $500 million of Senior Notes due 2019 in an underwritten public offering. The offering will be made under PXP's shelf registration statement, which became effective immediately upon filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 5, 2010.

Net proceeds from the offering are expected to be used to repay amounts outstanding under PXP's senior revolving credit facility and for general corporate purposes, including the redemption of all $76.9 million aggregate principal amount of PXP's Senior Notes due 2017 that remain outstanding.

This press release does not constitute a notice of redemption of the Senior Notes due 2017. Notice of redemption, if and when given, will be made separately in accordance with the terms of the Senior Notes due 2017.

An electronic copy of the preliminary prospectus supplement and accompanying base prospectus may also be obtained at no charge at the Securities and Exchange Commission's website at http://www.sec.gov.

This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy, nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any state or jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such state or jurisdiction.

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Iran Crude Supplies to China Fall for Fourth Month in March

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Iran’s oil shipments to China fell for a fourth month in March to the lowest in 22 months amid delays in signing term supply contracts. Imports by the biggest buyer of Iranian crude fell 6.2 percent to 1.08 million metric tons, or about 254,000 barrels a day, according to calculations by Bloomberg from data released via e-mail today by the Beijing based General Administration of Customs.

Supplies from the Persian Gulf nation averaged 557,413 barrels a day last year.
Purchases from Iran slid as China International United Petroleum & Chemical Co., the nation’s biggest oil trader, put off signing a 2012 term contract with National Iranian Oil Co. after a disagreement over payment terms.....Read the entire Bloomberg article.

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Shell to Announce First Quarter Results

On Thursday 26 April at 2 o'clock est Royal Dutch Shell plc will release its first quarter results and first quarter interim dividend announcement for 2012.
These announcements will be available on http://www.shell.com/investor.

Webcasts

Simon Henry, Chief Financial Officer, will host two live webcasts of the first quarter results and first quarter interim dividend announcement for 2012 on Thursday April 26, 2012.

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Monday, April 23, 2012

EIA: Eagle Ford Oil and Natural Gas Well Starts Rose Sharply in First Quarter 2012

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New well starts in the Eagle Ford region in Texas increased 110% from January through March 2012 compared to the same period in 2011, according to reporting and analysis by BENTEK Energy LLC (Bentek).

graph of Eagle Ford well starts, as described in the article text

Other key findings include:

Operators started drilling (spudded) 856 new wells in January through March 2012 compared to 407 in January through March 2011.

In early April 2012, the Eagle Ford active rig count set a new high of 217 units.

Increased drilling and rig deployment translated into higher crude oil and condensate production, which is projected to average over 500 thousand barrels per day (bbl/d) in April, up from 182 thousand bbl/d in April 2011.

Current Eagle Ford area natural gas production is about two billion cubic feet per day.

Horizontal wells accounted for nearly all of the new well starts so far in 2012.

Much of the drilling activity in the Eagle Ford is targeting both crude oil and wet natural gas resources.

Bentek estimates that in March 2012, Eagle Ford crude oil and lease condensate production was approaching crude oil production in the North Dakota part of the Bakken formation.

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Crude Oil Bounces Back After Two Days of Loses

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Crude oil [May contract] closed higher on Monday ending a two day decline off Wednesday's high but remains locked in March's down trending channel. The low range close sets the stage for a steady to lower opening on Tuesday.

Stochastics and the RSI remain neutral to bullish signaling that a low might be in or is near. Closes above last Tuesday's high crossing at 105.07 are needed to confirm that a short term low has been posted. If May renews the decline off March's high, the 38% retracement level of the October-March rally crossing at 97.84 is the next downside target.

First resistance is last Tuesday's high crossing near 105.07. Second resistance is the reaction high crossing at 105.49. First support is this month's low crossing at 100.68. Second support is the 38% retracement level of the October-March rally crossing at 97.84.

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We just released a detailed video on what to expect today and this week for the dollar, gold, silver, crude oil and the SP500.

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ConocoPhillips Reports First Quarter Earnings

ConocoPhillips [NYSE:COP] today reported first quarter earnings of $2.9 billion, compared with first quarter 2011 earnings of $3.0 billion. Excluding $330 million of special items, first quarter 2012 adjusted earnings were $2.6 billion. Special items were primarily related to gains on asset dispositions, partially offset by impairments and repositioning costs.


“We operated according to plan during the first quarter of 2012, achieving production and refinery utilization targets,” said Jim Mulva, chairman and chief executive officer. “We continued to progress our asset divestment program and execution of our major projects and growth plans. We also accomplished several repositioning milestones, including obtaining a favorable IRS ruling and final board of directors’ approval. Beginning May 1, 2012, our company will become two leading, independent energy companies, ConocoPhillips and Phillips 66.”


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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Crude Oil Trades Near Three Days Highs on U.S. Economic Outlook

Crude oil traded near the highest close in three days before reports that may show a strengthening of the economy in the U.S., the world’s biggest crude consumer. Futures were little changed in New York after rising 0.2 percent last week. Consumer purchases that account for about 70 percent of the U.S. economy probably climbed by the most since the end of 2010, according to a Bloomberg News survey before an April 27 Commerce Department report. Iraq halted crude exports from northern fields because of a technical fault at a pipeline network in neighboring Turkey, the Oil Ministry said.

Crude for June delivery was at $103.77 a barrel, down 11 cents, in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 9:40 a.m. Sydney time. The contract rose 1.1 percent to $103.88 on April 20, the highest close since April 17. Front month prices are 5 percent higher this year. Brent oil for June settlement was at $118.63 a barrel, down 13 cents, on the London based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The European benchmark contract’s front month premium to West Texas Intermediate was at $14.85, from $14.88 on April 20.

Iraq’s crude exports stopped at 7:45 p.m. on April 21, the ministry said in a statement on the website of the official National Media Center yesterday. The nation normally exports 450,000 to 500,000 barrels a day from northern fields through Turkey. It ships most of its oil from the south on tankers sailing from the Persian Gulf.

U.S. consumer spending may have risen 2.3 percent last quarter, according to the Bloomberg survey. That would follow a 2.1 percent gain in the prior period. Gross domestic product rose at a 2.5 percent annual rate after advancing 3 percent in the previous three months, according to the median forecast in a separate Bloomberg survey before the Commerce Department’s April 27 release.

Posted courtesy of Bloomberg News

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Phil Flynn: Precautionary Demand

Crude oil prices were rising early Friday and there is better than expected data from Germany and Microsoft, yet in the big picture, there are those that are saying that oil prices have risen in recent months not due to speculation but what we should call “precautionary demand”. According to Dow Jones U.S. sanctions against Iran are hurting growth in that country and creating "precautionary demand" for oil, which is part of the reason oil prices remain at current high levels according to Caroline Freund, the World Bank's chief economist for the Middle East and North Africa.

In other words, countries have been hoarding oil in the event that oil supply might get cut. This has increased demand and prices have gone higher. It is a valid fundamental reason for oil prices to rise and has been a major factor in the pricing oil. The rise is not due to speculators, as the uninformed would have you believe, but the physical buying of extra barrels. As the Iran risk seems to be pushed back that buying has eased a bit.

Dow Jones reported overnight that European Union member states have agreed to postpone by one month the deadline for a review of the oil embargo on Iran. The EU agreed in January to implement a full oil embargo on Iranian crude oil exports by July 1 in response to its nuclear program. But as a concession, to Greece in particular, it agreed to hold by May 1 a review of the effect of a full embargo. That left next Monday's Foreign Affairs Ministers Summit as the last opportunity to agree any change to the embargo.....Read the entire article.

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Commodities Market Summary for Sunday April 22nd

Crude oil closed higher on Friday but remains locked in March's down trending channel. The low range close sets the stage for a steady to lower opening on Monday. Stochastics and the RSI remain neutral to bullish signaling that a low might be in or is near. Closes above Tuesday's high crossing at 105.07 are needed to confirm that a short term low has been posted. If May renews the decline off March's high, the 38% retracement level of the October-March rally crossing at 97.84 is the next downside target. 

Here's our pivot, resistance and support numbers to get the week started tonight!

Daily Pivot PointsNormal RangeLast Bar
CommodityChartS3S2S1PPR1R2R3HLC
Crude OilChart100.48101.31102.01102.84103.54104.37105.07103.66102.13102.72
Natural GasChart1.8131.8581.8821.9271.9511.9962.0201.9711.9021.907
Heating OilChart3.07713.09443.10983.12713.14253.15983.17523.14453.11183.1251
Gasoline RBOBChart3.02443.07973.11693.17223.20943.26473.30193.22753.13503.1541
GoldChart1606.41618.81630.11642.51653.81666.21677.51654.91631.21641.4
SilverChart30.64930.97031.37431.69532.09932.42032.82432.01531.29031.779
CopperChart3.54083.56923.59833.62673.65583.68423.71333.65503.59753.6275
PlatinumChart1544.81559.41568.71583.31592.61607.21616.51597.91574.01578.0
Extreme Range



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Saturday, April 21, 2012

SandRidge Mississippian Trust II Announces Pricing of Initial Public Offering at The Top End of Price Range


SandRidge Mississippian Trust II (the Trust) announced today that it has priced its initial public offering of 26,000,000 common units at a price per common unit of $21.00, which represents the top end of the expected price range of $19.00 to $21.00. The 26,000,000 common units being sold in the offering represent a 52% beneficial interest in the Trust. The underwriters have 30 days to exercise an option to purchase an additional 3,900,000 common units from the Trust to cover over allotments, if any. 

Following completion of the offering, SandRidge Energy, Inc. (NYSE: SD) as sponsor of the Trust, will own approximately 11.3 million common units, assuming no exercise of the underwriters' option, and approximately 12.4 million subordinated units convertible into common units, and the Trust will have a total of 49,725,000 trust units outstanding. The common units have been approved for listing on the New York Stock Exchange, and will trade under the symbol "SDR." The offering, which is subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to close on or about April 23, 2012.

The Trust will own royalty interests conveyed to it by SandRidge that will entitle the Trust to a percentage of the proceeds received by SandRidge from the production of hydrocarbons from currently producing wells and development wells to be drilled by SandRidge on approximately 53,000 net acres in the Mississippian formation in northern Oklahoma and southern Kansas.

Visit the SandRidge Investors page for a list of sponsors and more info.

Take a minute to check out today's "50 Top Trending Stocks"

EXCO Resources to Release 1st Quarter 2012 Results

COT holding EXCO Resources [NYSE: XCO] will be releasing first quarter 2012 results on Tuesday, May 1, 2012, after market close. EXCO will host a conference call on Wednesday, May 2, 2012, at 10:00 a.m. (Dallas time) to discuss the contents of this release and respond to questions.

 Please call (800) 309-5788 if you wish to participate, and ask for the EXCO conference call ID# 70531704. The conference call will also be webcast on EXCO’s website at www.excoresources.com under the Investor Relations tab. Presentation materials related to this release will be posted on EXCO’s website on Tuesday, May 1, 2012, after market close.

 EXCO Resources, Inc. is an oil and natural gas exploration, exploitation, development and production company headquartered in Dallas, Texas with principal operations in East Texas, North Louisiana, Appalachia and West Texas.

  Get Today's 50 Top Trending Stocks

Friday, April 20, 2012

Chevron Announces Webcast on 1st Quarter Earnings

Chevron’s discussion of first quarter 2012 earnings with security analysts will take place on Friday, April 27, 2012, at 8:00 a.m. PST. A webcast of the meeting will be available in a listen only mode to individual investors, media, and other interested parties on Chevron’s website at www.chevron.com under the “Investors” section.

Additional financial and operating information will be contained in the Earnings Supplement that will be available under “Events & Presentations” in the “Investors” section on the website.

 Get your Free trend analysis for Chevron, ticker CVX

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Crude Oil Remains Locked in March's Down Trending Channel

Crude oil [May contract] closed lower on Thursday, as it remains locked in March's down trending channel. The mid-range close sets the stage for a steady opening on Friday. Stochastics and the RSI remain bullish signaling that a low might be in or is near. 


Closes above the 20 day moving average crossing at 103.83 are needed to confirm that a short term low has been posted. If May renews the decline off March's high, the 38% retracement level of the October-March rally crossing at 97.84 is the next downside target. 


First resistance is the 20 day moving average crossing near 103.83. Second resistance is the reaction high crossing at 105.49. First support is last Tuesday's low crossing at 100.68. Second support is the 38% retracement level of the October-March rally crossing at 97.84.

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