New York (HedgeCo.NET) At last week’s Sohn Investment Conference, Greenlight Capital’s David Einhorn made headlines when he expressed a very bearish opinion toward fracking or shale oil companies. Einhorn argued that the costs of capturing the oil far exceed the revenue generated from selling the oil. He even went as far as to say that “shale oil is becoming the next big financial catastrophe waiting to happen.”According to Greenlight Capital’s data, Einhorn points out that large oil frackers have lost $80 billion between the costs of production versus the revenue received from selling the oil since 2006.
Einhorn also argues that other problems are due to cheap debt created by the low-interest rate environment that has persisted for the last decade, and the manner in which many fracking companies report earnings. The shale industry has a preference for reporting earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, depletion, amortization and exploration expenses. The one company Einhorn seems to have in his crosshairs the most is Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE: PXD). The stock is up ten-fold from the low in 2009. Einhorn says the company is losing $12 per barrel of oil it develops.