Rogue Wave

The recent demise of a hedge fund “specializing” in the selling of  energy option premia  was blamed for some of the squeeze we have seen in the Natural Gas markets. The manager of said fund blamed a “rogue wave” of speculative buying in Natural Gas as the reason for his early retirement (that and the forced liquidation by his clearing firm). OPEC might be tempted to borrow this term as the Crude Oil market has been hit recently by a significant amount of indiscriminate selling from all corners of the market. While, the factors influencing the price of crude vary widely from geo-politics to seasonal crack spread volatility, we posit that the weakness in crude oil is a direct reflection of the incessant movement of crude oil into global markets via U.S. shale producers. The blame can be laid at the feet of technology as per barrel shale costs are now in the low $50’s so the days of “punch a hole in the ground and hope for the best” are long gone with big data replacing big gutsy, risky blind exploration.

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