Have you tried to drive anywhere recently? I mean, have you just gotten in your car, not necessarily at rush hour either, and tried to get to a store or a coffee shop or – god forbid – the beach? I don’t care where you live; it’s just impossible, isn’t it?
Hang on, I hear you – you’re looking for a column on energy stocks – but stick with me a second.
One of the ideas of the rebalancing in oil that we’ve been depending upon has been that the drop in oil prices would bring an ultimate drop in production here in the U.S., shrinking gluts and bringing a slow but steady price rebound back to profitability levels for marginal barrels somewhere above $75.
We’ve recently reached a summertime lull in the rally despite the fact that rebalancing has demonstrably begun. There’s been a noticeable trend of production drops in key shale areas; and despite the gains in efficiencies, we were on track to see a full crude rebalancing where production would again drop beneath demand here in the U.S. sometime later in 2016.
But our progress has been stalled. And it’s been all about gasoline.
Sure, we’ve had a return of some production from Canada, Nigeria and Libya – although it really hasn’t been all that significant. And yes, we’ve had some financial pressure on oil from new hedge selling from E+P’s, locking in breakevens at $50 a barrel. But what has really stopped…