NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Whiting Petroleum (WLL) - Get Whiting Petroleum Corporation Report is taking a tremendous haircut on Wednesday in the market. It was unable to find a buyer and was forced to issue a 35 million-share secondary. This is another clue that the bust phase of shale oil is far from over and a lot more blood is yet to be spilled.
I warned investors about betting on Whiting and its plan of finding a suitor when I spoke with Jim Cramer on March 11. Speculators were clearly betting that a buyer of the Bakken oil company would be willing to pay a premium for Whiting based on its superior assets. Rumors followed that Statoil (STO) , Continental Resources (CLR) - Get Continental Resources, Inc. Report, Hess (HES) - Get Hess Corporation (HES) Report and even Exxon Mobil (XOM) - Get Exxon Mobil Corporation Report were interested in the company.
But while there might have been real interest, there was little at the price Whiting was expecting someone to pay. Ultimately, Whiting decided to issue more stock and another almost $2 billion in debt, following in the footsteps of dozens of other shale oil companies forced to raise capital to avoid default or even bankruptcy.
This is the emerging pattern everywhere. As companies in debt trouble search for a way to "wait out" low oil prices, most of those with spare cash to use to buy distressed oil assets continue to wait for a better opportunity to deploy it. We know that private equity behemoths like Carlyle (CG) - Get Carlyle Group L.P. Report, Blackstone (BX) - Get Blackstone Group Inc. Class A Report and Apollo (APO) - Get Apollo Global Management Inc. Class A Report have raised several billion dollars each to invest in the oil space, yet are waiting for lower prices for oil companies that still have not come down equivalently to a $45 oil price.
We could simply say that while shale oil companies wait and hope for oil prices to rally and save them, other vultures like big integrated oil companies and private equity firms are waiting for those shale oil companies and their assets to get a lot cheaper first.
I think the vultures are going to turn out to be right. I continue to advise investors to wait on buying shale oil producers, with a few limited exceptions. I talk more about Whiting and what it means with Jim in the video above.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.