October 28, 2010 | In: Energy

HAL, BP, RIG and the Blame Game

Of course we all know about the blame circus that happened after the rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico. The government blamed BP, BP blamed Transocean (and everyone else), and, of course, Transocean blamed BP. BP and RIG fell to a low of $26.75 and $41.88, respectively. Now that we all thought that the story is over, another scapegoat comes into play, Halliburton.

An investigation concluded that Halliburton was aware that the cement it recommended for BP’s well in the Gulf of Mexico was unstable. What does this mean?

This means that Halliburton is (at least) partly responsible of what happened in the Macondo well, and of course, an immediate reduction of about 8% in market capitalization (HAL is now trading at $31.59 in the after hours).

Obviously, this is good news for BP, whose stock jumped 80 cents as soon as the news broke. I think BP is now a solid stock, and is now majorly corrected by what happened in the gulf. The stock’s fair price when crude is around $80 is around $44, and in case it was deemed that Halliburton has to pay for this (which is very unlikely), the stock may edge higher.

It is important to mention that this whole Halliburton implication in the matter might be strictly political, after all, there are elections coming next month, and it is clear where Halliburton stands. I don’t think BP would even want Halliburton to assume responsibility, for many (mainly political, stemming from the close relationship) reasons.

HAL is attractive at the current price, but I think there is a better entry point (possible below the $30), and I’d wait until the stock regains its momentum.

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