The Four P’s and its Impact On Oil Pricing

“The Four Ps” is a popular trope used to describe marketing: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. But here, we use it in a very current context: Pandemics, Politics, Presidents, and Psychology. We think our partners might like to hear our take on what we’ve been reading or listening to. You can then add to it whatever additional facts or articles you’ve found. That way, you can have a considered opinion based on reality rather than speculation. So, here goes:

Pandemics. Covid-19 is the latest global-disrupting viral scourge. Nor will it be the last. There will always be new or evolving zoonotic organisms (viruses that can spread from animals to humans) that can cause illness. Modern mankind, thanks to science and technology, has made great progress explaining, testing, and treating these diseases, and in some cases even finding vaccines that eliminate the risk. In the past weeks and months, we have seen countries, companies, and people mobilize to combat Covid-19. Different approaches are being implemented in different places. Will we have a vaccine by the end of the year? No one knows, but activity is underway on a number of fronts.

Politics. You might ask: Why was the world caught flatfooted when Covid-19 hit? Several authoritative articles say some of the analysis done on previous pandemics (Ebola, SARS, etc.) pointed several years ago to a possible Covid-19 problem. Medical experts warned governments to “gear up” rather than face a “Pearl Harbor” or “9-11” catastrophe. It seems that governments underestimated the risk and consequences. But it’s unfair to criticize unjustly. Politicians worry about economic security, national defense, and sociopolitical issues in addition to national health, especially when colds and Flu are a common annual occurrence. Twenty-twenty hindsight is always more accurate than proactive planning.  But give our government factions credit for closing ranks once the enormity of Covid-19 emerged. There’s general consensus that Local, State, and Federal branches are winning, and that countries are cooperating.

Presidents. The leaders of countries have the ultimate responsibility for crisis response.  Here’s a sampling of U.S. presidents facing a medical pandemic:

  • George Washington (1793 Yellow Fever)
  • Andrew Jackson (1832 cholera)
  • Woodrow Wilson (1918 Spanish Flu)
  • Dwight Eisenhower (1957 Asian Flu)
  • Gerald Ford (1972 Swine Flu)
  • Ronald Reagan (1980 AIDS)
  • George W. Bush (2003 SARS)
  • Barack Obama (2009+ H1N1, Zika and Ebola)
  • Donald Trump (2020 Covid-19)

As expected, every one of them received a mix of credits and condemnation for their actions. (History has judged Bush and Obama responses among the best. The jury is still out for Trump, but more recent responses seem to be working better.) One article we came across summarized the lessons learned:

“Historians say that in the face of public health crises, presidents who are informed, focused, organized and transparent are most likely to be successful… the University of Missouri-Kansas City, said American presidents can learn from their predecessors, particularly in establishing strong coordination between the federal government and states, and ensuring the private sector is fully engaged… the Obama administration greatly benefited from George W. Bush’s National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza, a plan that spanned every department of the federal government, every state and broad swaths of the private sector to stockpile antiviral medications and provide scientists resources to develop vaccines… leaders must be optimistic and provide hope. But more important, they must be transparent, both to prevent unfounded information from spreading and to create the credibility that will encourage people to follow guidelines instead of being skeptical of their government.”

One might surmise that the Internet and Social Media have equipped us to get better information faster and thus should make leaders’ actions even better going forward.

Psychology. Pick up any paper or popular magazine today and you’re likely to find something about how families are dealing with “shelter-in-place.” Couples are learning the importance of providing space for their partners as well as adjusting routines and rituals for the “New Normal.” Parents are learning the challenges teachers face in classrooms.  A Wall Street Journal article offered these insights:

  • Millions of years of human behavior are going to overwhelm the state of lockdowns.
  • Social Distancing will give way quicker than we think to the need for interacting with others.
  • The Economic Imperative that underlies all societies is well established. Economic suicide is not normal behavior. Expect small shops, restaurant franchise, and entrepreneurs to get back to work sooner rather than later.

So, what’s our takeaway for oil prices and Allied?

  • The domestic oil & gas industry and the price of oil should bounce back, perhaps quicker than the consensus, and certainly faster than a number of “doom and gloomsters” predict.
  • We are “full speed ahead” on Custer Valley #2. Please watch our hands-on videos posted on our Website.
  • We continue to evaluate new leasing opportunities that Covid-19 has created.

We’ve done our best keeping Partners in the loop, so we won’t repeat more of the good things we’re doing, but rest assured that we never take our eyes off your investment in Allied. Our money is there too!