Tuesday, March 01, 2005

I want a new drug.

It's tough to keep on top of everything, but it's nice to see news supporting the general thesis.

ExxonMobil declares energy demand to rise for coal, natural gas, oil, with LNG big, and West Africa, Caspian Sea, Middle East and Russia playing increasing roles.

An article about Qatar signing big LNG deals. If the peak oil story is correct, and if it turns out to be around the corner, there are many who speculate we will move to natural gas as a transportation fuel. (Natural gas can be converted to a liquid though the process is not as efficient as straight oil out of the ground. Sasol, SSL, owns some of the patents on the process.)

An article on Gazprom, the Russian natural gas colussus. (Russia has a huge percentage of the world's known natural gas reserves, and it's now consolidating it in this one company.) Note that once Russian consolidates it's holdings so they own 50% plus 1 share (ie a majority), they will lift restrictions on trading Gazprom. Gazprom can be bought as an ADR, but it trades at a large premium that way. Again, natural gas may well be very important, and Putin is clearly on to this.

An article from Matt Simmons looking at oil supply and demand. I think it's an important read, so I'm not going to try to summarize it.

An article with a technical bent, looking at how various sectors are doing. I agree with the guy, energy is short term way overextended, but just by focusing on charts and what used to be, you don't see the big picture. I'm not just picking on this guy in specific, but too many people are unable to grasp that the financial, drug, tech thing is so 1995-1999. We are here in 2005 folks, and energy is the new drug. If you are only in those old things, if you are way overweight in those old things, or if you are only in an index, you are probably going to be left in the dust by the energy sector. (Jim Cramer gets this, listen to his radio show today.) The older Stovall gets it, he announced on CNBC this morning that energy was a place to be.

[A note on one line in the above article in particular - "Nonetheless, it definitely stirs memories of other speculatively driven rallies." - This is not the first comment I have seen that suggests the oil rally of Jan - Feb 2005 is something along the lines of the tech bubble of 1999. Yes and no. Yes, this is a quick move. But no, it is not comparable. Oil is moving from undervalued to fair value, depending on what you think oil prices will be this year. I think they will average over $40. But in 1999 tech stocks were doubling in months. We have had a 20% move in oil this year folks, not a 200-300% move.]

Here's a way to track how various sectors are doing, see "Hot Sectors" and "Hot Industries" towards the right hand side. Energy +7.53, and dominates industries for last 5 days. A clear and present buying panic, be careful out there.

[Please note, I'm not suggesting you buy energy now, but I suggest you think about following them and add some when they hit an air pocket.]