Total (TOT) CEO this morning said he believed OPEC would support oil prices as they have in the past.
This isn't that surprising coming from the CEO of Total. The French oil giant has enormous exposure to OPEC countries. It has no footprint in North America, none.
Still, it's hard to wish lower oil prices away. The market is dealing with huge oversupply.
But it's unlikely OPEC is going to step into the market in a big way, at least not now. I say this because it doesn't look like oil prices are low enough for them to support prices now. If they act now, everyone will say, see I told you so, these guys always step into bail us out.
Besides, $80 oil is ample for most oil companies to still make—and spend—money.
Still, Total is one of the few companies to comment on oil prices in Q4. Hess (HES) noted lower realized crude oil prices were the primary reasons adjusted net income declined. Average selling prices for crude were down 8 percent from a year ago, and that includes the effects of hedging. But nothing on where oil is going.
Seems that everyone wants to show their bright side right now, we seem to still be in the "happy talk" phase.
Anadarko Petroleum (APC), one of the largest exploration and production companies, has made no major changes in capital spending. As for production, it is going UP. That's partly because productivity continues to improve: everyone is drilling wells faster and at a lower cost.
Regardless. There are lots of spreadsheets being passed around that estimate how much oil production would drop if, for instance, rig count would decline by 5 percent, or by as much as 25 percent or so.
Bottom line: happy talk aside, analysts are aggressively taking estimates for oil service and E&P companies DOWN for Q4.