Italy imports too much electricity from France and they need energy. I doubt if there will be a large find there, but its a good move for VPI which may gain them more than experience. One thing to consider would be that Italy has been behind all the efforts in Lybia to stablilize relations with the west. The Italians need their oil. What are the chances that VPI goes into Lybia?
Italy---excellent food, good wine, and hopes for a PO Valley score. If it's dry hole, ah well, arrividerchi. Good question... But I like the willingness to be relatively unhedged as hedging is really just an insurance contract (unless you can divine the price directions) and as such just adds a percent or two to expenses over the long haul. VPI looks good to me at this level, yes the poison pill puts a cap on buyout interest but the underlying assets net of the huge writedowns are looking good.
"...hedging is really just an insurance contract (unless you can divine the price directions) and as such just adds a percent or two to expenses over the long haul."
You're wrong. Hedging locks-in a guaranteed return, ensures dependable profitablity and payment of the core costs. As such, hedging is more appropriately described as setting and accepting what the seller feels is a fair rate of return. Unlike insurance, hedging is not meant to pay off in case of failure, it is meant to pay off in all scenarios. Those who hedge properly leave portions of their product (depending on mkt cap & banking req's) to open-market sales. If they hedge before the market goes south, people see them a geniuses and ask why they didn't hedge more? If the market goes north, the opposite takes place. Either way, the savvy hedger takes home a profit and their company continues to grow in good times and bad -- that is called sound management.
Anyone who manages a publicly traded company in a manner pleasing to day traders should be fired. That sort of instability may appeal to those who see the market as a huge gaming casino and like to 'play' it; but it is wholly injurious to a real company with real employees and real products and services to sell which clients must be able to depend on being there in the weeks, months and years ahead.