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Dan Dicker

Dan Dicker

Dan Dicker is a 25 year veteran of the New York Mercantile Exchange where he traded crude oil, natural gas, unleaded gasoline and heating oil…

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Refiners: A Bankable Energy Play

Refinery

The sub-sectors of energy are where big money is made in trading oil stocks – we must decide where the next move will be and be ahead of it, as oil and natural gas continue to play around in the bust cycle while preparing for the next boom.

So, where is the opportunity now? Is it in the independent E+P’s? In oil services? In pipelines? Natural gas stocks?

I’m betting it will be in the refiners.

That’s a bold call, considering that an enormous refined products glut has been behind much of the return back from $52 a barrel to close to $40. It’s been the higher price of oil and squeeze of the WTI/Brent spread that has decimated margins as well for refiners and forced their prices way back down.

And it’s important to note just how far down they’ve gone:

(Click to enlarge)

(Click to enlarge)

All of the refiners have underperformed the rest of energy for reasons I have named, and others yet to show themselves: There has not only been an increase in crude stockpiles based upon the lowered refinery utilization in the last several months, but a quicker conversion to winter blends this year than last, which yields an even lower margin than summer blending does.

So, how can I be bullish on these stocks?

For one, margins can literally get no worse – all of the regional crack spreads, from Chicago, the West Coast, East Coast and the Gulf – are way below 5-year…

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