Ah, those unfortunate energy bulls. Their returns over the last few years have been nothing to write home about.
As shown by the chart below, the relative performance of the energy sector against the market has been topping out for the last few years (blue line), though bulls can be consoled by the fact that the long-term relative uptrend that began in 1999 remains intact. From a technical perspective, there is a decent chance that the relative decline could be halted at the 50% Fibonacci retracement level, which roughly coincides with the long relative uptrend that began in 1999.
(click to enlarge)
What's more depressing for energy bulls, the press and blogosphere has been full of bearish stories about oil prices, largely because of the shale boom seen in the US:
Energen (EGN) is an exploration and production firm focused on capturing new growth potential in the Permian Basin. Most E&P firms of all sizes with Permian acreage are redeploying capital to the Permian Basin, including selling off assets to do so. Energen's drivers of expected double-digit growth in 2013 are from its 3rd Bone Spring wells in the Delaware Basin and its Midland Basin Wolfberry vertical program. Increased horizontal activity is expected to add to production results in 2014 and 2015. Its Permian assets consist of 300,000 net acres in the Midland and Delaware Basins. The firm spent $1 billion on acquisitions from 2009-2012, largely in the Midland Basin. According to Energen, oil production increased 21% from the prior-year 3rd quarter and Permian Basin production rose 36%. Capital investments of $950 million-$1 billion are planned in the Permian for 2013.
Total 3P reserves, those which are