Integrated oil is quietly back on the rally trajectory (PTR, XOM, PBR)

The three biggest 3 biggest oil companies in the world have added $170 billion in market cap off their October lows and have gone back to ripping last month. This is amazing when you consider that the DXY or “dollar index” is up 20 basis points so far this year — usually a negative on oil and other commodities.

For one thing, the situation with Iran has been creating artificial speculative interest in oil. People are looking to climb on the crude bandwagon now before any disruption in the Persian Gulf.

And the issue driving the dollar lately has not been a global safe haven bid but a simple sense that the U.S. economy is fundamentally stronger than Europe. Money is flowing out of a euro zone that looks like it is moving toward recession or worse. It is, however, flowing toward a dollar that is being floated by a U.S. economy growing faster than anyone expected a few months ago.

A more robust U.S. economy means demand for oil in particular is going to remain strong. At the very least, we are not going over any cliffs here.

Petrobras (PBR, quote) is up 20% year to date and up 44% from October. That’s $20 billion in market capitalization created in three months.

Petrochina (PTR, quote) is up 28% since December 19. Add another $80 billion to the sector.

And ExxonMobil (XOM, quote) has gained 17% since November 25. That represents $70 billion in wealth creation.