Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Jim Cramer -- Don't Fall for the Big Oil Price Freeze Hype

So let me get this straight. The Saudis, Venezuelans, Russians and Qataris agree to freeze production at the highest levels imaginable and will keep them there unless Iraq and Iran increase production, and in that case all bets are off?

And some oil bull likes this deal?

First, the prices they would freeze them at -- presumably around $29 a barrel or lower, because oil ran up to $30 on talk of a deal -- are uneconomic for just about every oil company in the U.S. You can rest assured most would be wiped out at these prices.

Second, Iran and Iraq have already stated that they will not back away from increasing production. Just the opposite. They are going to ramp production.

Third, when Saudi oil minister Ali Al-Naimi says "we don't want significant gyrations, we don't want a reduction in supply. We want to meet demand. We want a stable oil price," he is simply dissembling. They are obviously more than meeting demand at these levels, and they are locking in levels that more than meet demand. How in heck does that not put a lid on oil and ensure that it will go lower over time as Iraq and Iran go over the top?

In fact, it seems more like a declaration of war than anything else.

How critical is all of this? Once again, we find bulls trying to craft stories about how oil companies should be bought off this news. Have they considered the recent work, for example, of RBN, which show that Canadian oil sands production is on the increase and that the companies may actually be losing money on every barrel, or at most making a couple of bucks?

Have they considered that there is almost no more storage space and that the posted price for crude is actually well below WTI in many areas?

I just think this is one more case of people hoping that things will get better. What you need to see is that the Saudis say "prices are too low; we are cutting back and letting oil rise."

And then you have to see if they actually do.

Tall orders, both.

Neither of which you got from this bit of folderol.

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