BP Not Too Big to Fail: Dan Dicker Q&A

NEW YORK (Stockpickr) -- Yesterday on Stockpickr, oil expert Dan Dicker answered your questions relating to BP and oil. We've adapted the highlights here.


Q: BP needs a British government bailout, like the U.S. GM bailout. -- Michael Morse

A: BP is far from broke, like GM was, and hardly needing restructuring -- YET. Don't look for the British government to come in on this one. There aren't the same job risks. To put it succinctly, BP isn't "too big to fail."

Q: Does President Obama's speech about new energy policy provide any reasons to increase alternative energy investments? -- G2

A: As I said on CNBC, I was disappointed with the president, who essentially made a call for a cap-and-trade bill that even Dems don't really like or think will help.

Q: So no boost for solar stocks like First Solar ( FSLR) or wind energy equipment makers like GE ( GE)? Safe to stick with oil (excluding BP)? And if so, which is the safest oil exploration outfit? Exxon ( XOM)? Chevron ( CVX)? -- G2

A: I saw nothing in the speech to get me hot on solar or anything else. I've been a big advocate for XOM here, a long-term hold. Of the others, ConocoPhillips ( COP) is the most compelling.

Q: Out of the three -- BP, Transocean ( RIG), Halliburton ( HAL) -- which do you think will pay the least amount in consequences? -- VerucaSalt~Wonka

A: Halliburton seems the "safest" of the three.

Q: Did you see the video comparison from the 1979 spill? It's worth watching. The only thing advanced sine then is how to drill deeper. -- VerucaSalt~Wonka

A: Yes, the Ixtoc spill in 1979 was (formally) the largest to date. This one will eclipse that by a factor of perhaps three -- BP has literally poisoned the Gulf of Mexico.


Q: I like to track the crude six- and 10-month spreads and have seen your segments discussing how with the large spread we get an approximate floor of about 68-ish. The spreads have steadily contracted to about 4 for the six-month and 5 for the 10-month as of this morning. Is there a point where this contracts such that the current month's upside is capped? -- Serenity Research

A: Yes, but I'd look for a much flatter curve before I capped oil on the upside. The $5 12-month contango represents to me "neutral" comparative to where it was -- not bearish, but no longer intensely bullish.

Q: What do you think about the possibility of BP limiting their liability to their North American division, a $50 billion entity? -- Peter Near Mataznas Inlet

A: I'm no lawyer, but do not see how BP manages to shove all their liabilities into their NA division and walk away -- but again, I'm no lawyer.

Q: Do you in any way think that when all the numbers come in for all the damages thus far that BP can see a range of $17 to $24 a share for a real long time? -- drummerboy

A: Anyone who thinks they can estimate liabilities and how this will all "play out" is rolling dice. Credit Suisse came up with a $37 billion number. How do they do that? Whatever, all I know is I wouldn't be long this stock on a bet.

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