NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The second wave of selling is now taking place in the energy market -- both with oil and the oil stocks. This time, however, many of the most pressured oil stocks are reaching a value level that could interest the majors like Exxon Mobil (XOM - Get Report) and Chevron (CVX - Get Report) to buy them on the cheap. And that's precisely what I've been waiting for to reignite my excitement in the energy sector.
Oil has seen sub-$50 before, in the early springtime of this year. While that drop in oil prices had a more panicked feel to it compared to this slower melting away of prices, it has been the prices of the oil stocks that have interested me more. For example, the last time oil was breaking the $60 level, Continental Resources (CLR - Get Report), a major producer of shale oil in the Bakken, was trading $42 a share, now it's at $35. Hess (HES - Get Report), another Bakken specialist, was trading $70 a share; it's now under $60. Chesapeake Energy (CHK - Get Report) was at $15 and now trades near $9.
I could go on, but my point is that the exploration and production company stock prices are approaching low values that even the price of the underlying commodity would not have predicted. While this has been tough for shareholders, it presents value to other cash-rich oil companies in the market to buy cheap production assets.
And that means the majors. CEO Rex Tillerson of Exxon has been very clear of his company's interest in purchasing distressed shale oil producers at the right price. And I have been clear in my book "Shale Boom, Shale Bust", that consolidation needs to take place before this cycle of oil's collapse can near its end.
These stocks and others are now reaching those levels where they'll start to be very tempting to some of these very patient super-majors.
I want to see one or two big deals to convince me that the oil glut is on the verge of clearing before I commit again into this very weak energy sector. We've done well by staying mostly clear of the energy space as oil has begun its double dip recession in prices back toward the springtime low.
And we won't commit the almost equal error of trying to pick a bottom either. Instead, we'll wait for Rex Tillerson to tell us when it's safe again.