With E&P earnings season underway, could momentum shift in favor of this unloved sector as E&Ps benefit from a mix of self-help, an improving commodity market and geopolitical tailwinds?

The improved tone for crude is in large part “a Saudi story,” according to Helima Croft, global head of commodity strategy for RBC Capital Markets. The de facto OPEC leader “has massively reversed production,” she observed in a recent CNBC interview. “Saudi Arabia is 400,000 barrels per day below its OPEC quota. And, importantly, it has slashed exports to the U.S., the most visible market.”

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