Look Out Below :Oil prices hit 11-year low as global supply balloons ( Reuters plus Bloomberg charts) )

LONDON (Reuters) – Brent crude oil prices hit their lowest in more than 11 years on Monday, driven down by a relentless rise in global supply that looks set to outpace demand again next year.

Oil production is running close to record highs and, with more barrels poised to enter the market from nations such as Iran, the United States and Libya, the price of crude is set for its largest monthly percentage decline in seven years.

Brent futures (LCOc1) fell by as much as 2 percent to a low of $36.05 a barrel on Monday, their weakest since July 2004, and were down 49 cents at $36.39 by 1332 GMT.

While consumers have enjoyed lower fuel prices, the world’s richest oil exporters have been forced to revalue their currencies, sell off assets and even issue debt for the first time in years as they struggle to repair their finances.

OPEC, led by Saudi Arabia, will stick with its year-old policy of compensating for lower prices with higher production, and shows no signs of wavering, even though lower prices are painful to its poorer members.

The price of oil has halved over the past year, dealing a blow to economies of oil producers such as Nigeria, which faces its worst crisis in years, and Venezuela, which has been plunged into deep recession.

Even wealthy Gulf Arab states have been hit. Last week Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain raised interest rates as they scrambled to protect their currencies.

NO LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL

“With OPEC not in any mood to cut production … it does mean you are not going to get any rebalancing any time soon,” Energy Aspects chief oil analyst Amrita Sen said.

“Having said that, long term of course, the lower prices are today, the rebalancing will become even stronger and steeper, because of the capex (oil groups’ capital expenditure) cutbacks … but you’re not going to see that until end-2016.”

Reflecting the determination among the biggest producers to woo buyers at any cost, Russia now pumps oil at a post-Soviet high of more than 10 million barrels per day (bpd), while OPEC output is close to record levels above 31.5 million bpd.

Oil market liquidity usually evaporates ahead of the holiday period, meaning that intra-day price moves can become exaggerated.

On average, in the last 15 years, December is the month with least trading volume, which tends to be just 85 percent of that in May, the month which sees most volume change hands.

Brent crude prices have dropped by nearly 19 percent this month, their steepest fall since the collapse of failed U.S. bank Lehman Brothers in October 2008.

U.S. crude futures (CLc1) were down 26 cents at $34.47 a barrel, their lowest since 2009.

“Really, I wouldn’t like to be in the shoes of an oil exporter getting into 2016. It’s not exactly looking as if there is light at the end of the tunnel any time soon,” Saxo Bank senior manager Ole Hansen said.

Investment bank Goldman Sachs (GS.N) believes it could take a drop to as little as $20 a barrel for supply to adjust to demand.

Thanks to the shale revolution, the U.S. has been pumping a lot of oil on the cheap, helping to drive down prices to six-year lows and to fill up storage tanks. Indeed, we’re running out of places to put it.

LOOK OUT BELOW

The U.S. has 490 million barrels of oil in storage, enough to keep the country running smoothly for nearly a month, without any added oil production or imports. That inventory doesn’t include the government’s own Strategic Petroleum Reserve, to be used in the now highly unlikely event of an oil shortage. Nor does it include oil waiting at sea for higher prices. The lower 48 states also boast about 4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in storage — a far bigger cushion than Americans have needed so far during a very warm winter.

For their part, OECD countries (including the U.S.) have nearly 3 billion barrels of oil in storage — or enough to keep factories lit and houses heated in those countries for two months, cumulatively, without added production or imports.

The glut is going to continue worldwide unless some major producers stop pumping. OPEC announced recently that it was abandoning output limits.

So what happens when there’s too much oil to store? Producers will try to rid themselves of it by cutting prices. In that scenario, the price would plummet so far that some producers would shutter their wells altogether — which is, perhaps, the only way that the oil glut will ease.

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GET YOUR PORTFOLIO THE HELL OUT OF ENERGY : PRAYER ISN’T AN INVESTMENT STRATEGY

Natural Gas Price Dips on Low Demand for Heating

 

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported Thursday morning that U.S. natural gas stocks decreased by 34 billion cubic feet for the week ending December 11. Analysts were expecting a storage withdrawal of around 68 billion cubic feet. The five-year average for the week is a withdrawal of around 79 billion cubic feet, and last year’s withdrawal for the week totaled 76 billion cubic feet.

Natural gas futures for January delivery traded up about 2% in advance of the EIA’s report, at around $1.83 per million BTUs, and traded around $1.79 after the data release, the same as Wednesday’s closing price. Last Thursday, natural gas closed at $2.02 per million BTUs, and over the past five trading days that was the posted high for natural gas futures. A new 52-week low of $1.78 was set Wednesday. The 52-week range for natural gas is $1.78 to $3.95. One year ago the price for a million BTUs was around $3.91.

Warmer than normal temperatures are expected to prevail for the rest of this week, but a cold snap is expected in the eastern part of the United States through the weekend. Beginning next week, temperatures in the east are expected to warm up while the west and the northern tier are touted to be cooler than normal. Overall, natural gas demand should be higher through the middle of next week.

Stockpiles are about 16% above their levels of a year ago and about 9.1% above the five-year average.

The EIA reported that U.S. working stocks of natural gas totaled about 3.846 trillion cubic feet, around 322 billion cubic feet above the five-year average of 3.524 trillion cubic feet and 541 billion cubic feet above last year’s total for the same period. Working gas in storage totaled 3.305 trillion cubic feet for the same period a year ago.

 Here’s how share prices of the largest U.S. natural gas producers reacting to this latest report:

Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM), the country’s largest producer of natural gas, traded down less than 0.1%, at $79.11 in a 52-week range of $66.55 to $95.18.

Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE: CHK) traded down about 2.7% to $3.80. The stock’s 52-week range is $3.57 to $21.49.

EOG Resources Inc. (NYSE: EOG) traded down about 2.3% to $74.07. The 52-week range is $68.15 to $101.36.

In addition, the United States Natural Gas ETF (NYSEMKT: UNG) traded down about 2.0%, at $7.02 in a 52-week range of $6.95 to $19.38.

Chicago, IL – December 16, 2015 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include Chevron Corp. (CVX), Royal Dutch Shell plc(RDS.A), Kinder Morgan Inc. (KMI),ConocoPhillips (COP) and Encana Corp. ( ECA).

Today, Zacks is promoting its ”Buy” stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

Here are highlights from Tuesday’s Analyst Blog:

Oil & Gas Stock Roundup

It was a week where oil prices dropped to levels not seen since Feb 2009 and natural gas futures settled below the $2 level for the first time in over 3 years.

On the news front, Chevron Corp. (CVX) set its investment budget for 2016 at $26.6 billion, down 24% from this year.

Overall, it was a pretty bad week for the sector. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures dived 10.9% to close at $35.62 per barrel, while natural gas prices plunged 9% to $1.990 per million Btu (MMBtu). (See the last ‘Oil & Gas Stock Roundup’ here: Devon Bets on Crude Even as OPEC Inaction Sinks the Commodity .)

Oil prices encountered the year’s largest weekly drop in reaction to bearish comments from International Energy Agency (IEA) that sees global oil glut to worsen next year in the face of slowing demand growth. Oil was also undone by OPEC’s latest monthly report that showed the oil cartel’s November production rising to a 3-year high.

Related Quotes

Natural gas also fared badly despite a bullish inventory report that showed a larger-than-expected withdrawal. The heating fuel was weighed down by predictions of tepid early-December demand for the heating fuel due to mild weather spurred by the El Niño phenomenon.

Recap of the Week’s Most Important Stories

1. U.S. energy behemoth Chevron Corp. offered a glimpse of its 2016 capital spending plans. The integrated major has pegged its next year’s capital budget at $26.6 billion, down 24% from the $35 billion it expects to invest by the end of 2015. Of the total, roughly 90% will go toward oil and gas exploration projects worldwide, and 8% for downstream businesses.

In a separate press release, Chevron announced the commencement of production from the Moho Bilondo Phase 1b project, located off Republic of Congo’s coast at a water depth of 2,400 to 4,000 feet. Total production from the prospect – in which Chevron holds a 31.5% working interest – will likely be 40,000 barrels of oil every day.

2. Europe’s largest oil company Royal Dutch Shell plc (RDS.A) has received the unconditional clearance from China to proceed with its $70 billion acquisition of BG Group plc − a leading upstream energy player in the UK. The permission clears the final regulatory obstacle that was in the path of Shell’s BG buyout.

Following the green signal from China, the only thing that is left is the approval of shareholders after which the deal will likely be closed by early 2016. However, after getting the Chinese authorization, Shell added its intention to reduce global headcount by 2,800 from the merged entity.

3. The plunge in crude price – from over $100 per barrel in June last year to the recent $35 per barrel mark – has led several firms in the oil industry to take drastic measures to remain afloat. Treading on the same lines, energy infrastructure company Kinder Morgan Inc. ( KMI) announced a cut in its dividend payout beginning with the fourth quarter of 2015. The Houston, TX-based firm plans to lower its quarterly dividend to 12.5 cents, a 75% nosedive from the earlier payout of 51 cents.

Kinder Morgan plans to utilize the funds from the cutback in dividend to fund the equity portion of its expansion capital requirements. This would eliminate the need to tap into external sources for funds to a large extent. Management expects the cut to also translate into a sustained solid investment grade credit rating. The company expects to continue this practice of funding its capital expenditure plans through internal sources in 2017–18 also. (See More: Kinder Morgan Slashes Dividend by 75%, Hits 52-Week Low .)

4. Houston-based energy major ConocoPhillips (COP) released its capital spending budget and operating plan for 2016. The company’s 2016 capital budget of $7.7 billion is 25% below the expected 2015 capital spending and 55% lower than that of 2014. Of the total budget, about $1.2 billion or 16% is apportioned for base maintenance and corporate expenditures, $3.0 billion or 39% has been allocated for development drilling programs, $2.1 billion or 27% has been set aside for major projects. The remaining $1.4 billion or 18% is to be used for exploration and appraisal.

The majority of capital will be used for the development of U.S. oil fields, mainly shale formations in Texas and North Dakota, as well as for the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska. ConocoPhillips also intends to allot drilling capital to Malaysia, China, the North Sea and Canada. (See More: ConocoPhillips Updates 2016 Capex and Operational Plans .)

5. Encana Corp. (ECA) has decided to slash its 2016 capital spending budget by 25% from this year. The Calgary, Alberta-based oil and gas explorer also announced plans to lower its 2016 annual dividend by more than 78%. The announcements were not unforeseen as the company has been hit hard by the persistent weakness in oil price. Following the announcement, Encana fell more than 8% on the NYSE.

The company’s projected 2016 capital budget is in the range of $1.5 billion and $1.7 billion. Most importantly, the majority of the amount will be allocated toward four key oil and natural gas properties that comprise the Montney and Duvernay shale fields in Canada and the Eagle Ford and Permian shale resources in the U.S.

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The key is to give yourself options. They may not love any of the scenarios, but providing choices usually leads clients to eventually embrace one.

Despite solid advice, some clients just spend too much. Others, like the married couple we’ll call Matthew and Elizabeth, diligently save but still run into retirement-planning problems.

Matthew and Elizabeth became clients of Jack A. Bass Managed Accounts a few years back, looking to manage their portfolio and put a retirement game plan in place. At 66, Matthew was considering retiring. Elizabeth could finally travel now that she was no longer the primary caregiver of her mother, who had passed the year prior. Together, we looked at their joint financial picture and analyzed the situation.

Then came some bad news: They wouldn’t be able to confidently cover living expenses if Matthew stopped working. They were shocked, because they’d done so much correctly—worked hard, lived within their means and consistently saved for retirement, putting away $2.3 million between retirement and non-qualified investments. Matthew even ran some preliminary retirement numbers online over the years to make sure they were on track.

Part of the problem was that Matthew’s planning assumptions were too rosy. He didn’t assume he’d have any variability on his portfolio returns, he didn’t assume he’d have health-care costs once Medicare kicked in, and he didn’t assume that retirement could last more than 20 years.

We projected that if Matthew retired at 66, the couple would only have about a 70 percent chance of being able to cover lifestyle expenses without having to make adjustments to spending over time; if either of them experienced a modest long-term care event that ate into their resources, they would achieve only a 65 percent success rate.

Their miscalculations aside, the other part of Matthew’s and Elizabeth’s retirement problem was that they, like many other people, put others’ needs before their own, in traditional “sandwich generation” style.

When their kids asked for help with down payments on houses, they obliged. When Elizabeth’s mom needed in-home help for a few years prior to her moving in with them, they covered it. Consequently, these unforeseen events ultimately put their retirement in jeopardy.

Working toward a solution

Matthew and Elizabeth weren’t happy to hear they weren’t on track to retire, but they appreciated having a framework from which to choose their solution.

Ultimately, Matthew chose to work 30 hours per week so that his company could continue to pick up their health-care costs (saving them about $1,000 a month in Medicare-related costs). The part-time work allowed him to take off every Friday, and that gave him the added benefit of “test driving” retirement.

He and Elizabeth also decided to downsize their home and buy long-term care coverage. The LTC insurance assured that their children wouldn’t be faced with the possibility of someday having to assist them financially.

As with all best-laid plans and good intentions, sometimes things go awry with retirement planning. However, by exploring alternative saving tactics, you can still achieve your goal.

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Braggin’ Rights In Oil Sector Avoid Call : A Race To The Bottom

 

We received the most angry email at info@jackbassteam.com with our articles to sell the sector and in particular Chesapeake ( then at $22), Linn Energy and Chevron-now here are today’s’ results:

Brent oil dropped below $50 a barrel for the first time since January as Iran vowed to boost production immediately after sanctions are lifted and manufacturing in China slowed.

Futures in London fell as much as 5.2 percent, extending July’s 18 percent drop. Irancan raise output by 500,000 barrels a day within a week of sanctions ending, the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency reported. A Chinese private factory gauge released on Monday slipped to a two-year low in July, while an official index on Saturday dropped to a five-month low.

Crude slid into a bear market last month, joining a broader slide in commodities amid expanding supplies and signs of slower Chinese growth. Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers fueled speculation about when and by how much it will lift output. Sanctions against the nation should be lifted by late November, the Iranian Oil Ministry’s Shana news agency said.

“The quick recovery of the market is becoming more of a mirage,” Helima Croft, chief commodities strategist at RBC Capital in New York, said by phone. “Right now we’re in a race to the bottom. Oil producers are pumping what they can in the hopes that someone else will cut first.”

Brent for September settlement dropped $2.23 to $49.98 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange, at 12:48 p.m. in New York. The contract touched $49.52, the lowest level since Jan. 30. Prices are more than 20 percent below this year’s high on May 6, meeting a common definition of a bear market.

Bottom-Seeking

West Texas Intermediate for September delivery fell $1.72, or 3.7 percent, to $45.40 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It reached $45.11, the lowest intraday price since March 20. The U.S. benchmark crude traded at a $4.58 discount to Brent.

“We’re in a commodity downdraft and it’s spreading to other asset classes,” Mike Wittner, head of oil market research at Societe Generale SA in New York, said by phone. “China, Iran and Greece were the triggers for the move down. We’re not paying much attention to Greece anymore but China and Iran are still in the forefront.”

Iran plans to double exports, IRNA reported, citing Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh in an interview with state TV. The Islamic Republic produced an average of 2.85 million barrels a day last month, compared with 3.6 million at the end of 2011, according to estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Iranian Payoff

BP Plc and Royal Dutch Shell Plc are among the energy companies that have expressed interest in developing Iran’s reserves, the world’s fourth-biggest, once sanctions are removed. Iran had the second-biggest output in OPEC before U.S.- led sanctions banned the purchase, transport, finance and insuring of its crude began July 2012.

“The biggest winner in OPEC over the past year is Iran,” Croft said. “‘They are getting a financial payoff as a result of the deal.’’

A China factory index for July released Monday by Caixin Media and Markit Economics came in at 47.8, a decline from 49.4 in June, indicating the effects of easier monetary policy have yet to kick in. The country’s official Purchasing Managers’ Index was 50 in July, down from 50.2 in the previous month. Numbers above 50 indicate expansion.

‘‘The Chinese data continues to look grim, which with the Iran headlines makes for a one-two punch for the oil market,” John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital LLC, a New York-based hedge fund, said by phone.

Hedge funds reduced bullish bets on WTI to the lowest level in five years. The net-long position in WTI contracted 7 percent in the week ended July 28, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show. Money managers cut their bullish stance on Brent during the same period by 37,527 contracts, the most in a year, according to data on Monday from ICE.

Portfolio Management : Engagement Process for Jack A. Bass Managed Accounts

Portfolio  Management : Engagement Process for Jack A. Bass Managed Accounts

The Engagement Agreement authorizes us to officially act on your  behalf and also provides for protection of confidentiality in regards to the dissemination and distribution of your sensitive financial information.Generally you will name Jack A. Bass as a person allowed to trade your portfolio – BUT without any authority to remove funds from your account.

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No Rapid Rebound for Oil Prices ( MorningStar Energy Forecast )

Energy: No Rapid Rebound for Oil Prices

The rapid decline in oil prices has created significant investment opportunities, but downside risk remains in the short term.
  • The United States has rapidly become the critical source of incremental supply for global oil markets, and growth has come overwhelmingly from unconventional drilling. The large increases in U.S. output did not upset global supply/demand balances over the past few years, largely because significant amounts of supply were disrupted by political/security issues (Libya and Iran, for example). But in 2014 the scales finally tipped: Combined with weakening demand and OPEC’s decision not to reduce its own production, major supply imbalances resulted that, as of today, have yet to dissipate.
  • In the current market environment of high costs and low oil prices, upstream firms face extremely challenged economics where new investment is not value-creative. Such conditions are not sustainable over the long term, however, and we expect the combination of rising oil prices and falling costs to provide significant relief in the coming years.
  • Despite our belief that tight oil has considerable running room from here, it can’t completely meet future global demand. The marginal barrel, therefore, will come from higher up the global cost curve. Our forecasts show that higher-quality deep-water projects will be the highest-cost source of supply needed during the rest of the decade. As a result of this meaningful move down the cost curve, our midcycle oil price forecast for Brent is $75 per barrel (WTI: $69/bbl), meaningfully below 2014 highs.
  • Although U.S. gas production is likely to slow in the near term as oil-directed drilling hits the brakes, the wealth of low-cost inventory in areas like the Marcellus points to continued growth through the end of this decade and beyond. Abundant supply is holding current prices low, but in the long run we anticipate relief from incremental demand from LNG exports as well as industry. Our midcycle U.S. natural gas price estimate is $4/mcf.

Given both its remaining growth potential and ability to scale up and down activity quickly, tight oil has effectively made the United States the world’s newest swing producer. Drastic spending cuts will lead to a meaningful decline in near-term production, but the strong economics of the major U.S. liquids plays means production will begin growing again as soon as oil prices recover.

David Meats is an equity analyst for Morningstar.

Based on our belief that U.S. unconventionals will continue to be able to meet 35%-40% of incremental new supply requirements in the coming years, we believe that additional volumes from high-cost resources such as oil sands mining and marginal deep-water will not be needed for the foreseeable future. This disruptive force that already has upended global crude markets isn’t going away anytime soon. U.S. shale once again is proving truly to be a game changer.

Meanwhile, demand tailwinds from exports and industrial consumption will help balance the domestic gas market eventually, but ongoing cost pressures from efficiency gains and excess services capacity–as well as the crowding out of higher-cost production by world-class resources such as the Marcellus Shale and associated volumes from oil-rich areas such as the Eagle Ford and Permian–are weighing on near-term prices. Even under these circumstances, however, undervalued, cost-advantaged investment opportunities remain.

Top Energy Sector Picks
Star Rating
Fair Value
Estimate
Economic
Moat
Fair Value
Uncertainty
Consider
Buying
Encana
$16
Narrow
Very High $8
ExxonMobil
$98
Wide
Low $78.40
Cabot Oil & Gas
$43
Narrow
High $25.80
Data as of June 22, 2015

Encana (ECA)
Encana is our top pick within the U.S. oil-focused exploration and production group. The company’s growth is underpinned by high-quality Permian and Eagle Ford acreage. The company has transformed dramatically in the past 12 months, with two major acquisitions and a string of divestitures and is emerging leaner and meaner. The company now has a footprint in several top-quality oil plays in the United States and Canada.

ExxonMobil (XOM)
We view ExxonMobil as offering the best combination of value, quality, and defensiveness. Exxon will see its portfolio mix shift to liquids pricing as gas volumes decline and as new oil and liquefied natural gas projects start production. The company historically set itself apart from the other majors as a superior capital allocator and operator, delivering higher returns on capital than its peers as a result.

Cabot Oil & Gas (COG)
On the gas side, Cabot controls more than a decade of highly productive, low-cost drilling inventory targeting the dry gas Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania. Fully loaded cash break-even costs are less than $2.50 per mcf.

ADD UPDATE at close of market:

Each week we look at the level of crude oil located in U.S. storage tanks around the country, which offers a glimpse into the inner workings of production and consumption levels. After peaking earlier this spring, U.S. crude inventories have undergone successive weeks of drawdowns, indicating slowing production and higher demand from consumers. In Europe, however, the story is different. Crude storage is reaching a multi-year high at the trading hub of Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp, known as ARA. In fact, storage levels have spiked since the beginning of the year to 60.6 million barrels in June. European storage is growing so rapidly because a lot of oil coming from Africa is having trouble finding interested buyers, forcing it into storage.

Growing storage levels in the U.S. pushed down oil prices earlier this year, and the same could hold true for European storage. That points to a persistent glut in global oil markets, with production exceeding demand by around 2 million barrels per day according to IEA estimates. Even if some of that supply can get soaked up by extra demand, there is a lot of oil sitting idle in tanks right now. That means oil prices likely won’t jump in the near term because the markets will need to work through the excess sitting in storage first.

While inventories are drawing down in the U.S., a group of companies are proposingincreased storage along the U.S. Gulf Coast. Magellan Midstream Partners and LBC Tank Terminals are proposing a $95 million oil storage facility near Houston. The facility would be able to hold around 700,000 barrels of crude and would be connected to existing distribution infrastructure. If it moves forward, the site could be completed by 2017. Magellan’s project would greatly expand storage along the Gulf Coast, helping refiners access and store product.

In another major construction project along the Gulf Coast, Cheniere Energy (NYSE: LNG) announced that it would take on $5.8 billion in new debt to build a fifth LNG train at its Sabine Pass facility in Louisiana. Lining up financing is a crucial step before construction can begin. Cheniere hopes to further expand by building a sixth LNG train, but has not secured financing for that yet. The company expects to liquefy and ship its first load of LNG later this year when its first train finishes construction, kicking off a new era in which the U.S. becomes a natural gas exporter.

Iran Nuclear Deal – Oil and Iran – What Happens To The Oil Price Now ?

 

 

Oil Falls; Will it Last?

Iran has been under official sanction by the UN Security Council since 2006 after failing to acquiesce to Western demands that the Iranians stop all enrichment activity.

After nearly a decade of strict sanctions against Iran’s oil and finance industries, both sides came to the negotiation table over a year ago.

On one side, the U.S., France, Britain, Germany, China, and Russia worked to curb the proliferatory elements of Iran’s program, while the Iranians fought for their own autonomy in energy production.

Upon news of the deal, the market saw oil drop significantly.

Brent crude fell almost $3 per barrel, while West Texas Intermediate dropped 3.5% to $48 per barrel.

The reason for this reaction is simple…

IranExports

Per the deal, sanctions against Iran’s oil industry would be lifted, which means Iran would be able to increase the export numbers you see above.

In an already flooded global market, news of the possibility of more oil sent prices down again.

While this is a completely plausible reason for oil prices to fall, the market fails to recognize that oil could actually go up because of this deal.

With Iran holding some more clout in the oil market in the Middle East, the nation will have incentive to grow production and exports.

Iran’s natural enemy by proxy — Saudi Arabia — may lose its gumption in an oil price war with the United States, Russia, and other OPEC producers.

Sure, the Saudis can withstand low oil prices until shale wells dwindle further, but with Iran, Russia, and the U.S. continuing production growth, Saudi Arabia may want to cut production, as a longer period of low prices will hurt revenues and cause budgetary problems for the Kingdom.

I realize this may sound counterintuitive, but while prices stand to fall in the short term, the long-term health of the oil market improves with a diversified set of major producers and exporters.

Ways to Benefit from an Iran Deal

By pushing short-term oil prices lower, the Iran deal gives us a great buying opportunity for oil stocks.

By no means am I suggesting you buy Iranian oil companies or speculative plays out of the Middle East. Instead, it would behoove you to find a constructive way to play a coming rise in oil exports and, eventually, prices.

Tanker companies authorized for American imports will be valuable, as will American midstream companies that are involved in the movement of refined oil products like gasoline and plain old crude oil.

The United States, still the biggest oil importer in the world, should now look to lift the export ban to remain competitive with global prices, as Saudi Arabia and Iran will both have a presence in the export market.

And midstream companies in the U.S. can expect to see a vast increase in business as more pipelines, refineries, and storage facilities are permitted and built to boost exports.

In a recent report, I vetted a midstream services company that has improved its business enough to garner an investment from my readers and me.

Its services will be instrumental in the development of midstream and oil logistics throughout the U.S., especially in places like the Permian, where shale oil production is rising despite the bear market.

 

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Everyone Hates U.S. Stocks ?

 

Not since the year of the credit crisis have the world’s biggest investors had a lower opinion of American equities.

With interest rates poised to rise and Europe ascending, the percentage of global money managers who are underweight American equities is the highest since 2008, a survey by Bank of America Corp. shows. At the same time, clients of exchange-traded funds have pulled about $14 billion from U.S. equities this quarter and added $29 billion to international stocks, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Souring sentiment is a reversal from the last two years, when money flowing to the U.S. was double that going elsewhere. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index trails virtually every developed market in 2015 as accommodative central-bank policy from Europe to Japan lifts valuations and the Fed winds down programs that helped share prices triple since 2009.

“The U.S. stock market was an island of opportunity for a number of years,” Stacey Nutt, chief investment officer who oversees about $4 billion at ClariVest Asset Management LLC in San Diego, California, said by phone. “It has lost that status, not because it’s negative, but because other places around the world have started becoming more attractive.”

The percentage of money managers holding fewer American stocks than the country’s weighting in benchmark indexes exceeds those overweight by 19 percentage points, according to a March 6-12 poll of 207 money managers in Bank of America’s survey released Tuesday. That compared with a net 6 percent overweight in February.

Better Returns

After beating global stocks every year since 2009, the S&P 500 is up 0.7 percent since January, compared with a 2.1 percent advance in the MSCI World ex-USA Index. The U.S. gauge is on pace for the worst quarterly performance compared with the world index since the third period of 2013.

Better returns elsewhere are luring investors away after American stock ETFs attracted nearly $350 billion in the past two years, compared with the $160 billion that flowed to international equities.

Europe, in particular, has gained favor, as the Stoxx Europe 600 Index has rallied 16 percent so far in 2015, with benchmark indexes in Germany, Portugal and Denmark rising more than 20 percent. The gains came as European Central Bank President Mario Draghi introduced a 1.1 trillion-euro ($1.2 trillion) quantitative-easing program aimed at spurring growth and thwarting deflation.

The WisdomTree Europe Hedged Equity Fund has absorbed $8.4 billion this quarter, the most among all equity funds. By contrast, the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust, the biggest ETF tracking the U.S. benchmark gauge, has seen the biggest outflows, with investors withdrawing $31.2 billion.

Mindset Change

A net 35 percent of respondents in Bank of America’s survey picked the U.S. as the worst place to invest in the next 12 months, the most in almost a decade, while the proportion of those favoring Europe jumped to a record 63 percent.

“There has been a mindset change,” Jeffrey Saut, chief investment strategist at Raymond James Financial Inc., in St. Petersburg, Florida, said by phone. “The crowd now thinks that the quantitative easing program that Draghi has put on is going to do the same as it did here.”

Negative sentiment by fund investors toward U.S. equity markets has been of little consequence for American stocks since the bull market began in 2009. The S&P 500 has risen in five of the last six calendar years, a stretch that encompasses $93 billion in outflows from funds in 2012, when the S&P 500 jumped 13 percent.

Favorably Inclined

Most of the bull-market gains came as individuals plowed money into the fixed-income market after living through the S&P 500’s 57 percent plunge from October 2007 to March 2009. To some investors, skepticism has been the fuel for advances, leaving pools of unconvinced speculators to change their minds and buy as gains snowballed, especially in 2013 and 2014.

Hedge funds have raised their bets against equities, sending a gauge of manager sentiment to the lowest level since October, a survey from Evercore ISI showed. The measure of hedge fund long versus short bets fell to 49.6 in the week ending March 11, from 50.3 the previous week. Its low point in 2014 was reached in October, when the S&P 500 suffered the year’s worst retreat of 7.4 percent from Sept. 18 to Oct. 15.

“I can understand the rationale of being discouraged, thinking the U.S. is not the place to be, but we are still favorably inclined toward the U.S,” Walter Todd, who oversees about $1 billion as chief investment officer for Greenwood, South Carolina-based Greenwood Capital, said by phone.

Relatively higher valuations and a dimmer profit outlook are taking a toll on American stocks. After surging 207 percent during a six-year bull run on the back of Fed stimulus and a doubling in corporate profits, the S&P 500 trades at 18.5 times earnings, near the highest level since 2010. That compares with a multiple of 17 for the MSCI world index.

The proportion of investors in Bank of America’s survey saying U.S. equities are overvalued has reached its highest since May 2000 at a net 23 percent.

‘Europe Better’

Earnings from American companies are forecast to post the first back-to-back profit contractions since 2009 as the dollar’s ascent to highs not seen since the invasion of Iraq hurt sales for firms like Procter & Gamble Co. to Pfizer Inc., analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg show.

By contrast, a net 38 percent of respondents in Bank of America’s survey say that they expect double-digit earnings growth in Europe in the next 12 months.

“It’s U.S. good, Europe better,” John Manley, who helps oversee about $233 billion as chief equity strategist for Wells Fargo Funds Management in New York, said by telephone. “I wouldn’t say anything bad about the U.S. at this point. If I were pushed, I’d lean toward Europe in the next two years but it wouldn’t be any more than a shallow lean.”

NOTE: Our November New letter:

Out of oil

Out of Gold

Out of Shipping

 Jack A. Bass Managed Accounts

November 2014 – 40 % cash position

Year End Review and Forecast

 

Oil/ Energy

I am very happy for the call in natural gas prices – out at $12 and into oil. When oil was above $100 we lessened positions and that is our saving grace in the past two weeks. We are not bottom feeders and will wait for a turn in the market before reentering drillers or producers.

Have you avoided these sectors – you would have been better off to follow our advice in 2014 and now you have to decide for 2015.

No one – and I am not being humble here – can project the future with great accuracy but our clients continue to do very well and we offer that experience to you.

Fees : 1 % annual set up and a performance bonus of 20 % – only if we perform.

You can withdraw your funds monthly if you require an income stream.

Contact information:

To learn more about portfolio management ,asset protection, trusts ,offshore company formation and structure for your business interests (at no cost or obligation)

Email info@jackbassteam.com or

Telephone :  Jack direct at 604-858-3202

10:00 – 4:00 Monday to Friday Pacific Time ( same time zone as Los Angeles).

Oil price hasn’t hit bottom yet as surplus expands : Alan Greenspan

The slump in oil prices hasn’t curtailed output, and there is a huge amount bottled up in the U.S., former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said in an interview with Bloomberg Television on Friday.

Associated Press 
The slump in oil prices hasn’t curtailed output, and there is a huge amount bottled up in the U.S., former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said in an interview with Bloomberg Television on Friday.

 Inventories at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for U.S. benchmark futures, will keep rising, he said.

“We are probably at the point now, where at the current rate of fill, we are going to run out of room in Cushing by next month,” he said. “Until we find a way to get out of this dilemma, prices will continue to ease because there’s no place for that oil to go except into the markets.”

West Texas Intermediate futures dropped 1.9% to US$46.17 a barrel as of 9:31 a.m. Friday on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices are down almost 60% from their June peak.

U.S. crude stockpiles increased for nine weeks through March 6 to 448.9 million barrels, the highest in Energy Information Administration records dating back to August 1982. The nation pumped 9.37 million a day last week, the fastest pace in weekly estimates compiled by the Energy Department’s statistical arm since 1983.

FP0313_US_Petroleum_supply_940_AB

Stockpiles at Cushing rose by 2.32 million barrels to 51.5 million last week, the highest level since January 2013. Cushing has a working capacity of 70.8 million barrels, according to the EIA.

The surplus may soon strain U.S. storage capacity, renewing a slump in prices and curbing its output, the International Energy Agency said in a monthly market report Friday. The IEA boosted estimates for U.S. oil production this year as cutbacks in drilling rigs have so far failed to slow output.

Drillers have idled 653 rigs since the start of December, data from Baker Hughes Inc. show. The number of active machines seeking oil was 922 as of March 6, the lowest since April 2011, the services company said.

“The rigs that have been closing down have not been affecting the capacity to produce crude,” Greenspan said. “You are getting the inefficient rigs shutting down, but the capacity to basically build oil expansion remains there.”

and  we posted this inhttp://www.youroffshoremoney.com

JACK A. BASS MANAGED ACCOUNTS – YEAR END UPDATE AND FORECAST
November 2014 – 40 % cash position

Year End Review and Forecast

“Oil/ Energy

I am very happy for the call in natural gas prices – out at $12 and into oil. When oil was above $100 we lessened positions and that is our saving grace in the past two weeks. We are not bottom feeders and will wait for a turn in the market before reentering drillers or producers. “

No one – and I am not being humble here – can project the future with great accuracy but our clients continue to do very well and we offer that experience to you.

Fees : 1 % annual set up and a performance bonus of 20 % – only if we perform.

You can withdraw your funds monthly if you require an income stream.

Contact information:

To learn more about portfolio management ,asset protection, trusts ,offshore company formation and structure for your business interests (at no cost or obligation)

Email info@jackbassteam.com or

Call Jack direct at 604-858-3202

10:00 – 4:00 Monday to Friday Pacific Time ( same time zone as Los Angeles).