Dec 29, 2021 (WallStreetPR via Comtex) -- The Crude Oil market has taken flight over the past five days, powering over 15% higher in that time in a move fueled by optimism around the big-picture consequences of the Omicron variant. According to a recent South African study , infection with the recently emerged aggressively contagious but less severe variant appears to confer immunity against the more severe Delta variant that became dominant over the summer.
While you might think this is unsurprising, experts have been concerned that, since infection with the Delta variant does not protect you against Omicron, the potential exists that the two viruses could exist side by side as a twin pandemic.
However, if Omicron infection protects against Delta, then a much better outcome presents itself.
If the new South African study is confirmed through further analysis, it could spell the imminent end of the pandemic because it would mean the rapid global spread of the Omicron variant may permanently displace other variants with a less deadly version of the coronavirus, potentially taking it off the front page for the first time since it emerged early last year.
That has particularly powerful implications for crude oil because an end to the societal phenomenon of the pandemic will likely sharply boost travel, upping demand for jet fuel and gasoline.
Given widely known supply constraint dynamics embedded in the forward outlook for oil, a jump in 2022 demand forecasts could force a major squeeze in the oil market.
With that in mind, we take a look below at some of the stocks that most stand to benefit from this emerging theme.
Helmerich & Payne Inc. /zigman2/quotes/209685666/composite HP -0.79% engages in contract drilling of oil and gas well. It operates through its North America Solutions, Offshore Gulf of Mexico, and International Solutions segments.
The North America Solutions segment operates its drilling business primarily North America and have a presence in most of the U.S. shale and unconventional basins. The Offshore Gulf of Mexico segment conducts its business in the Gulf of Mexico. The International Solutions segment operates in six international locations including Argentina, Colombia, Bahrain, and United Arab Emirates.
Helmerich & Payne Inc. /zigman2/quotes/209685666/composite HP -0.79% recently announced, along with ADNOC Drilling Company PJSC, the finalization of the Rig Enablement Framework Agreement, which is intended to advance ADNOC Drilling's land rig operational performance, as well as support its ambitious growth and expansion plans. Focused on improving drilling efficiencies and unlocking operational savings, the Framework Agreement builds on the Asset Purchase Agreement and IPO Cornerstone Agreement announced on September 8, 2021, further strengthening the strategic alliance between ADNOC Drilling and H&P.
Abdulrahman Abdullah Al Seiari, CEO of ADNOC Drilling, said: "The Rig Enablement Framework Agreement announced today is a natural evolution of both our strategic alliance with H&P and ADNOC Drilling's growth trajectory. By sharing global best practices and further optimizing our world-class rig fleet, this agreement turbocharges ADNOC Drilling's significant competitive advantage, enabling us to further capitalize on and cement our leading position as the largest national drilling company in the Middle East and the only national drilling company that offers start-to-finish well services. The resulting efficiency gains will deliver enhanced operational excellence, in turn delivering even greater value to our shareholders."
The context for this announcement is a bit of a bid, with shares acting well over the past five days, up about 9% in that timeframe. Shares of the stock have powered higher over the past month, rallying roughly 6% in that time on strong overall action.
Helmerich & Payne Inc. /zigman2/quotes/209685666/composite HP -0.79% managed to rope in revenues totaling $343.8M in overall sales during the company's most recently reported quarterly financial data — a figure that represents a rate of top line growth of 65.1%, as compared to year-ago data in comparable terms. In addition, the company has a strong balance sheet, with cash levels exceeding current liabilities ($1.1B against $866.3M).
Camber Energy Inc /zigman2/quotes/201242655/composite CEI -9.88% is a recent speculative darling trading at rock-bottom prices after a bear fund put out a potentially dubious short report in September. Given this context, shares of CEI may get awfully interesting into the end of the year given the stock's strong hold of key support this month - after breaking down to $0.75/share, the stock has popped back up to challenge its 200-day moving average around $1/share in a short span.
CEI has exposure to oil and gas assets through its majority-owned subsidiary, Viking Energy Group Inc /zigman2/quotes/204256105/delayed VKIN -7.46% , which has energy assets located in North America in Kansas, Missouri, Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. It has also gained exposure to the carbon capture theme through a recent Exclusive Intellectual Property License Agreement with ESG Clean Energy regarding ESG's patent rights and know-how related to stationary electric power generation, including methods to utilize heat and capture carbon dioxide.
Camber Energy Inc. /zigman2/quotes/201242655/composite CEI -9.88% most recently announced that, on December 24, the company reportedly entered into a Loan Agreement pursuant to which the lender, subject to certain conditions, irrevocably agreed to loan the Company $25,000,000 on December 31, 2021.