Category Archives: Oil

Oil ETF Central Launches!

green_stocks_central_logo_post In 2008 I expanded the offerings of Self Investors LLC to include a portal focused on green energy stocks which is quickly becoming one of the top portals for all your green stocks information.  It includes breaking news, republished content from other authority sites in the green stocks space, tracking, the latest twitter posts, videos and featured content.  I have plans more improvements and features this year!

There isn’t a direct correlation between green stocks and oil prices, but some correlation can’t be denied.  If oil prices continue to rise back above the $100/barrel level or even just stay where they are, then alternative sources of energy become much more attractive and the stocks of companies in wind, solar, electric cars, the smart grid, etc benefit big time.  It’s safe to say that in the coming decades, the prices of commodities will continue to rise as supplies diminish and demand skyrockets.

oil_etf_central For this reason, I have put together another portal for investors called Oil ETF Central which focuses on oil prices and oil ETF’s.  It’s still very much in beta and literally days old, so much work remains, but I think it’s useful enough to present to the public 🙂  Feel free to contact me with suggestions to help make this portal an even better source of information for oil ETFs.  Your feedback is always welcome and much appreciated.

Investing In Offshore Oil Drilling Companies

By Guest Author: Robert Williams, PhD, P.E.

This oil and gas industry perspective highlights only US-quoted drilling companies that provide offshore drilling activities in the ongoing search for that elusive black gold. There are a staggering number of different types of drilling rigs in operation around the globe and this summary is only for major US companies and does not include the independent drillers. Other UK, Norwegian, Danish, Japanese and many other countries have similar quantities of drilling rigs in operation on a global basis.

Check out our new Oil Etf site!

Before drilling begins, oil/gas companies will conduct geological surveys of an area to determine the potential for oil or gas deposits and to identify specific drilling targets. Geologic survey companies will be the subject of a future oil/gas industry perspective.

The oil/gas company chooses the location and supervises the operation, which may take as little as 15 days or as long as 12 months, of round-the-clock, seven-days-per-week operation to drill a single well depending on the complexity of the project. Drilling is for two basic types of wells—exploratory (to find new oil or gas deposits) and development (to prepare the discovery for production). Water depths range from 20 to 400 feet for jack-up rigs to up to 10,000 feet for semi-submersibles and drill-ships

Drilling rigs generally consist of engines, a draw-works, a derrick (tower), and pumps to circulate the drilling fluid (mud) under various pressures, blowout preventers, drill string and related equipment. The engines power the different pieces of equipment, including a rotary table or top drive that turns the drill string, causing the drill bit to bore through the subsurface rock layers. Rock cuttings are carried to the surface by the circulating drilling fluid. The intended well depth, bore hole diameter and drilling site conditions are the principal factors that determine the size and type of rig most suitable for a particular drilling job.  Draw works is the mechanical section that contains the spool, whose main function is to reel in/out the drill line to raise/lower the traveling block.

The following is a brief summary of the types of drilling rigs involved…

Continue reading Investing In Offshore Oil Drilling Companies

Flowserve (FLS) and Dresser-Rand (DRC) Dominate Oil/Gas Niches

By Guest Author: Robert Williams, PhD, P.E.

There are many companies involved in all aspects of the oil/gas industries but very few gain a significant market dominance. Some achieve this by acquisitions of various significant companies. Referring back to the last oil/gas industry perspective re: automation companies, an example of such acquisition is Emerson Process Control acquiring Rosemount instrumentation which has extensive, and some cases, an exclusive market within the industry. Similarly, with the two companies listed in this industry perspective. Their corporate history is too diverse to elaborate on in this brief article and hyperlinks are provided to their individual websites at each company name.

Continue reading Flowserve (FLS) and Dresser-Rand (DRC) Dominate Oil/Gas Niches

7 Ways to Profit From Asphalt & Highway Construction

By Guest Author: Robert Williams, PhD, P.E.

There is a dominant stock investing theme that directs you to invest in companies that provide a product that everybody uses every day. May I draw your attention to a specific product in this category, namely asphalt? Unless your house has a tile roof, you probably woke up under an asphalt-tiled roof; walked to your car on an asphalt footpath; drove your car to work on an asphalt-surface highway or freeway; and parked your car in the asphalt-surface office car park.

In addition, President Obama is going to re-surface all of the US deteriorating freeways and highways – using asphalt of course.

You may wish to consider investing in some of the asphalt companies identified in this article. However, most asphalt involved companies are large conglomerates and certainly the asphalt producers are the major oil and gas conglomerates some of which are listed below.

If you have not even thought of where the asphalt comes from you should be aware that it is derived from crude oil refining which primarily produces your gasoline and diesel which you also use every day.

Continue reading 7 Ways to Profit From Asphalt & Highway Construction

Profiting From Brazil’s Tupi Oil Field: Petrobras (PBR), BG Group (OTC: BRGYY)

By Guest Author: Robert Williams, PhD, P.E.
How and why invest in Brazil. The why is directly connected to the massive oil/gas finds offshore Brazil in the last couple of years but also because of its well-established agricultural and mineral economy. The oil and gas developments projected for the next decade will further enhance their global economic stature. Brazil is the fifth largest country by geographical area in South America and it occupies nearly half of South America. Brazil is the fifth most populous country and the fourth most populous democracy in the world. Brazil was a colony of Portugal until its independence in 1822. Brazil is the world’s tenth largest economy at market exchange rates and the ninth largest in purchasing power. …

Continue reading Profiting From Brazil’s Tupi Oil Field: Petrobras (PBR), BG Group (OTC: BRGYY)

Graph of Crude Oil: Hitting Bullish Trend Line, But Head & Shoulders Top?

Here’s a long term weekly graph of light crude oil over the last 10 years.  You have to go back to 2000/2001 to see a similar correction but the current correction in crude oil is much more dramatic.  On the bullish side of things, crude oil will hit major support at a 10 year bullish trend line around $60/barrel and could see a significant bounce up to the next level of resistance around 80.  It’s buyer beware when oil recovers to $80 though because a big head and shoulders top is forming.   I have begun getting long oil stocks but will look to take profits if and when crude hits $80.  The key is that 10 year trend line if you’re long oil.  If it takes out that 10 year trend line we could see much lower crude prices in the coming years.

crude oil graphs

For more on oil and oil etfs see our sister site Oil ETF Central

Big Oil Windfall Profits Tax a Bad Idea

I was catching up on some email tonight and came across a good point made by Steve Sjuggerud of DailyWealth.  He compares the tax rate and profit margins of Microsoft vs Exxon Mobile providing a clear example of why gouging big oil further would be a bad idea and most likely lead to higher prices at the pumps.  This article reprinted with permission.


Oil is skyrocketing… and Chevron and Exxon should be making outrageous profit margins. So let’s tax those “windfall” profits! But… hold on a minute…

From March 2007 to March 2008, Exxon’s profit margin was just 10%. Meanwhile, its income tax rate was about 43%.

Compare this with Microsoft: Microsoft’s profit margin was over 28%. And Microsoft’s tax rate was under 30%.



Microsoft makes a much bigger profit margin than Exxon. And it’s taxed way less. Heck, if anyone deserves an “excess profits tax,” it’s Microsoft, not Exxon, right?

Do you think Microsoft’s Office software is outrageously expensive? And if so, is the right solution to tax Microsoft more? Does that fix the problem for consumers?

Right now, people just want to hear that the government is doing something to fix high gas prices. Many people naively believe the gas stations and Big Oil companies like Exxon are gouging them.

But calling for a windfall tax on Big Oil is among the dumbest policies you can possibly support… and there are a lot of dumb ones to consider.

For more on Oil Prices and Oil ETF Trading see our sister site Oil ETF Central

Map of World Oil Reserves

In doing some research for an oil trade article, I came across a darn good map of world oil reserves that’s based in flash and interactive so you can see which countries have the most in reserve and which are the largest consumers.  No surprise in terms of consumption – the US and China are runaway leaders here.  However, I was surprised that India wasn’t a bigger consumer of oil..but then again, they haven’t really reached the industrialized stage that China has, but when they do… perhaps at some point down the road $200 oil isn’t so far fetched.  The most glaring thing that stands out to me though is the potential dominance that Russia may play in the oil game.  They are undoubtedly sitting on billions upon billions of gallons of oil which is why I really like that Market Vectors Russia ETF (RSX) for the long haul.  In the shorter term  though, I actually like oil as a short and will highlight a couple ways to trade it tomorrow.

Check Out Our New Oil ETF Portal

world oil reserves map

We import the most from Canada.  Notice the increase in imports from Iraq and the decrease from Venezuela.. not too surprising.
Resource: Energy Information Administration