U.S. producers are shoveling billions of dollars into new oil projects this year, even despite the price of oil being devastatingly cheap.
In this clip from Industry Focus: Energy, Motley Fool analysts Sean O'Reilly and Taylor Muckerman talk about a few energy companies that tend to do great even when the price of oil is in the gutter.
A full transcript follows the video.
This podcast was recorded on March 23, 2017.
Sean O'Reilly: Any companies you are interested in these days? I know you like the midstream because you don't know... well, really, nobody knows --
Taylor Muckerman: I mean, if the U.S. is going to produce 1 million more barrels per day in the next couple years, and then yeah, the pipelines are going to be bursting at the seams.
O'Reilly: I've written about the pipelines a bunch, too. The thing that I like about them is they're one of the closer things you can get to a monopoly these days.
Muckerman: Yeah. Kinder Morgan (NYSE:KMI) is trying to build a 430-mile pipeline for natural gas from the Permian Basin to the Gulf Coast. Enbridge just completed their merger with Spectra Energy, so now it's very well hedged, oil versus natural gas: Spectra being more natural gas, Enbridge being more oil-heavy. Those are the behemoths. So, chances are, they're going to get a piece of the pie.
O'Reilly: Did we ever get to talk about that $4.5 billion pipeline that Kinder Morgan is building up there for the oil sands to get it to the West Coast, up there by Seattle?
Muckerman: I think we did. It's an expansion of their existing pipeline.
O'Reilly: That's right, it's an expansion.
Muckerman: So, they're just going to add, basically -- I mean, not "basically," it's not a basic project --
O'Reilly: Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think it tripled the amount of oil that can go through it.
Muckerman: Yeah. Essentially, they'll just build additional pipelines next to the existing one. But then, you have to scratch your head about oil sands, because that's an expensive way to produce oil, it's super unclean, relatively speaking.
O'Reilly: Shell just sold their sands up there.
Muckerman: Yeah, they're completely sold out. But somebody bought it. So somebody believes in it.
O'Reilly: That's what makes a market. [laughs]
Muckerman: That's right. If Shell had come out and said, "We want to sell this, but we can't," then maybe I would say, "Kinder Morgan, what the heck are you doing?"
O'Reilly: Do you remember before this stuff started, Whiting Petroleum, they were like, "We're going to put ourselves up for sale."
Muckerman: Yeah, and nobody bought. That was the doldrums. Looking back, somebody probably should have bought them, because they were offering for dirt cheap at the bottom of the barrel, in terms of oil prices.
O'Reilly: That's right. I'm going to do that.
Muckerman: [laughs] You're going to go buy Whiting Petroleum? Go back in time?
O'Reilly: I'm going to LBO that [do a leveraged buyout], I'm going to put down $8. [laughs]
Muckerman: But yeah, in terms of some producers, again, we can keep harping on EOG and Pioneer, Permian leaders --
O'Reilly: I wrote about them two years ago, man, we need something new. [laughs]
Muckerman: There's nothing new to talk about. They're still the biggest and the best. They're the ones that are probably going to increase their spending the most. When you look at that $25 billion number in capex that's going to increase over 2016 spending, about $15 billion of that is coming from U.S. producers.