Posts Tagged ‘BRENT-WTI’

Echo to my previous post — 3 Investment Opportunities From a Free Falling Oil Price, Goldman Sachs says oil refiners can average 25% gains in six months on Nov 18th.

Goldman Sachs analyst Neil Mehta is optimistic about oil refiner stocks, resuming the group at Attractive, adding Tesoro NYSE:TSO) to the firm’s conviction list and awarding Buy ratings to Marathon Petroleum (NYSE:MPC), Phillips 66 (NYSE:PSX) and Delek US (NYSE:DK).

The negative factors from 2013, such as shrank Brent-WTI spread, rumor about lift ban on US crude export, and heightened ethanol requirements, are behind us. Goldman predicts WTI crude oil price will remain weak near $70 in the 1st Q of 2015 unless OPEC cut its production level.

Mehta goes further to explain why he’s feeling optimistic about the group:

Refiners are defensive in a weak crude tape Given industry economics are driven more by crude spreads than the directional oil price – we believe refiners represent one of the few energy sectors that can grow cash flow in a declining crude price environment. In addition, we see a seasonal trading tailwind for refiners in 4Q/1Q.

Brent-WTI should widen out – a key positive We expect Brent-WTI spreads will widen out from $4/bbl currently to $10/bbl in 2015-2016 as US oil production/pipeline growth outstrips refining additions. 

Underappreciated Sum-Of-The-Parts (SOTP) value in midstream Midstream/MLP segments provide SOTP upside to refiners from growth, stability and cash flow.

Refiners offer FCF, returns and dividend yield We forecast refiners will generate 9%-11% of the current market caps in annual FCF and 15% ROCE in 2015/2016. Cash flow supports a healthy dividend yield of 3.0%, on median, for the sector.

Source: Barron’s article (link)

Cowen energy analyst team is also keeping a positive view on the refining sector due to solid underlying earnings potential and the developing theme of logistics growth. The firm sees 30%-40% stock price upside for Outperform-rated Delek S Holdings (NYSE:DK), Marathon Petroleum (NYSE:MPC), Western Refining (NYSE:WNR) and PBF Energy (NYSE:PBF).

2014 EIA Permian Basin InfrastructureMost of these refineries have more than 60% of the crude feed-stock sourced from Midland Basin in western Texas. Midland has seen tremendous growth in oil production due to proliferation of hydraulic fracking. The lower crude oil price may slow the frackers’ production rate but not a lot.

2014 EIA Permian Basin WTI Prices

Midland’s oil production outstrips the available pipeline infrastructure since 2009.  According to EIA Sept 2014 report (link), the spread between domestic WTI Midland and WTI Cushing oil prices is widening even faster than Brent-WTI spread.  A series of recent outages at refineries located in or near the Permian, and along the U.S. Gulf Coast caused the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) price at Midland to fall $17.50 per barrel below the price at Cushing, a record difference.

Being said, refiners, who purchase more light crude with cheaper WTI Midland, will benefit from this low oil-price environment.

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