I want to make money on unloved oil companies, but it seems like every time I analyze one, I need to spend several hours identifying all of management's half-truths, omitted data, and outright lies. Here's a rant from a layman about the kind of shit I'm talking about:
Management teams love to talk about their low cost per barrel. It's a scam. They will almost always disclose the cost to pump the oil out of the ground, and neglect the (huge) costs of drilling the wells. These costs are especially huge for short-life shale wells.
Maybe you think that the answer is simple; just look at depreciation. Ha! If only. Oil companies have a tendency to take huge impairments on a periodic basis, so current depreciation is likely far lower than "real" depreciation, especially right after a bear market.