Whether it is to cripple the will of Putin and end his support of the Syria regime (thus handing the much desired gas-pipeline traversing territory over to Qatari and/or Saudi interests), a hypothesis first presented here in September and subsequently validated by the NYT, or much more simply, just to destroy any and all marginal producers so that Saudi Arabia is once again the world’s most important and price-setting producer and exporter of oil, one thing is clear: the Saudis will not relent from pumping more oil into the market than there is (declining) demand for, until its biggest threat and competitor – the US shale patch – which recently had become the marginal oil producer, as well as its investors – mostly junk bond holders gambling with other people’s money – are crushed, driven before the Saudi royal family, and the lamentation of their women is heard across the globe.
That much is known.
But what neither the Saudis, nor the US shale companies, and certainly not their investors who lately seem to get their investment advice from the no longer Nielsen-rated Financial Comedy Channel, know is even if every last US shale company is Friendo‘ed, there is an even more insidious group of drillers and oil extractors behind them, backed by an even greater monetary bubble and an even more clueless group of sources of cash, just waiting to step in and become the next marginal oil producer.
According to Global Times, the slump in oil prices “has triggered a flurry of Chinese investment in oil wells, in a bid to get a high return from the black gold.”
Cutting to the chase: once the US funding for local shale runs out, as companies – some already levered 5x, 6x, or more can no longer even remotely service their debt and not even Fed’s ZIRP is enough of an impetus for yield chasers to throw more good (other people’s) money after bad – start filing for bankruptcy en masse, who will step in continue the extraction? Why China of course: Global House Buyer, a Beijing-based services provider to Chinese overseas investors, said on Saturday that the company now has presented an investment opportunity in oil wells in Texas, US, to Chinese investors.
Full article: After Saudi Arabia Crushes The US Shale Industry, This Is Who It Will Go After Next (Zero Hedge)