Jim Cramer has been waiting for deals in the oil patch. Stocks are drifting down with attractive assets, yet they still sell for only a fraction of what they once did.
Where the heck are all the opportunistic buyers who were supposed to be waiting in the wings?
"The answer: they aren't waiting. They simply don't care," the "Mad Money" host said.
Cramer spoke with outgoing CEO of Occidental Petroleum Steve Chazen on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" on Monday, and he felt Chazen described it best.
The first issue is that the asset quality of most companies are poor.
"They have break evens maybe at $80 oil," Chazen said. "Nobody needs to pay for $80 break-even oil properties."
Chazen also said that the down-and-out oil companies have lousy balance sheets, and noted that most management believes that it will be OK in six months if they can just survive. And that just won't happen, Cramer said.
With this in mind, Cramer recommended investors not speculate on broken-down oil stocks, as there will most likely be no buyers. Go for the highest quality names.
"That way you can win even if oil doesn't go higher, and that's the best calculated risk in the entire oil and gas complex," Cramer said.