And just like that, $100 oil has returned.
Chest-pounding aside, if you’ve prepared correctly, Benjamin-a-barrel oil should come as a blessing.
But if you’re like most, blaming some faceless “they” for the new weight on your wallet because you were too lazy or stupid to see what was coming, rising petro prices can be a petulant penance…
For those of you in the latter group, this is your last warning:
There is no “they”. They don’t control oil prices… They can’t just pump more.
There is only supply and demand — and people like you and me betting on which one will win.
Yes, as the chart shows, oil can jump 8% in eight hours. It could also go up 80% in 80 hours.
There’s nothing stopping it.
The Suez siren
As unrest grows in the Middle East, traders quickly sent oil back to territory not seen in more than two years. Brent rose as high as $101.73.
It hasn’t been that high since September 2008. You remember that month, right?
Anyway, the Egyptian situation should serve as a clear indication that oil prices are headed much higher.
The reality is that Egypt has little impact on the physical oil market. Crude that moves through the Suez Canal and SUMED Pipeline only accounts for 2.5% of global demand — a mere 2.1 million barrels per day.
That should be your siren. A blaring, piercing, deafening warning that the tiniest disruption in supply will send traders — and, therefore, price — over the edge.
The 2.1 million BPD that flow through Egypt have not even been disrupted… Oil prices jumped almost 10% because people think they might be disrupted.
What happens to the price of oil if they actually are disrupted?
More importantly, what happens to the price when there’s an actual 2.1 million BPD shortfall because of the dwindling availability of easily available oil?
I believe traders sending up the price over the past few days is a function of psychological reaction to the realization of Peak Oil… But Egyptian tensions make a great cover.
High prices, high profits
As I said, I welcome higher oil prices with open arms.
Not only do they make renewables more competitive and create higher gas prices that are a signal for change; but they also increase the earnings of oil companies and attract investment dollars to cleantech stocks, both of which can mean profits for you.
Take note of how six of the most widely-traded oil ETFs have been performing against the Dow over the past three months:
Every single one is outperforming the broad market.
Again, that’s why I love high oil prices. It’s a surefire way to beat the market average.
And ETFs are just the low-hanging fruit…
More lucrative gains can be had by investing in the actual drillers and oil companies that will rake in higher profits as their commodity fetches higher and higher prices.
Case in point: Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) posted its highest profit in two years on Monday as its fourth-quarter earnings surged 53% on higher oil prices.
Exxon’s profit? A cool $9.25 billion, up from $6.05 billion a year ago. The stock is up 30% in six months — twice the return of the Dow.
And that still pales in comparison to the specialized oil companies Keith Kohl writes about week after week.
Some of the companies he’s told you about are up thousands of percent as the threat of high oil prices has become a reality.
Meanwhile, the Dow has stood still in time.
This trend is certain to continue. Oil will be at or above $100 for most of this year. Gas prices will be $4.00 by the Fourth of July.
Stop complaining and start preparing and profiting.
Walking away with a gain like that goes a long way to ease the pain of rising prices.
Call it like you see it,
Editor, Energy and Capital