Share Name Share Symbol Market Type Share ISIN Share Description
Oilexco LSE:OIL London Ordinary Share CA6779091033 COM SHS NPV (CDI)
  Price Change % Change Share Price Bid Price Offer Price High Price Low Price Open Price Shares Traded Last Trade
  +0.00p +0.00% 6.90p 0.00p 0.00p - - - 0 06:33:37
Industry Sector Turnover (m) Profit (m) EPS - Basic PE Ratio Market Cap (m)
Oil & Gas Producers 174.0 59.2 -18.1 - 15.44

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17/11/2017
17:21
waldron: Total: Strong Q3 Performance And Dividend Create Investor Appeal Nov. 17, 2017 12:05 PM ET| About: TOTAL S.A. (TOT) Power Hedge Power Hedge Macro, energy, alternative energy, contrarian (2,236 followers) Summary Total recently reported very solid Q3 2017 results. The company showed both QoQ and YoY improvements in nearly every financial metric. The company recently acquired a stake in one of the largest oil fields in the world and increased its production at Kashagan, giving it much more oil to sell. The company pays a strong dividend and has a history of maintaining or increasing it for the past thirty years. Overall, Total appears to offer quite an appealing opportunity for investment and further research. On Friday, Oct. 27, 2017, integrated French oil and gas supermajor Total SA (TOT) reported its Q3 2017 earnings results. Overall, these results were quite impressive as the company both beat the expectations of its analysts and showed relatively strong improvements year-over-year in nearly all aspects of its business. While this is not necessarily a sign that the oil and gas industry has finally begun to turn the corner, the string of relatively strong reports that we have been seeing recently certainly show that the industry has adapted to the current pricing environment. Total is the latest example of this. As many of my long-time followers are no doubt already aware, it is my usual practice to share the highlights from a company's earnings report before delving into an analysis of those results. This is because these highlights serve to provide background for the remainder of the article and provide a framework for the resultant analysis. Therefore, here are the highlights from Total's third quarter 2017 earnings results: Total achieved an adjusted operating income of $3.062 billion in the third quarter of 2017. This represents an increase over the $2.748 billion and the $2.332 billion that the company reported in the second quarter of 2017 and the third quarter of 2016 respectively. Total achieved an average combined production of 2.581 mboe per day during the third quarter. This represents an approximate production increase of 6% year-over-year. Total managed to achieve an average realized price of $52.10 per produced barrel of Brent crude, representing a 14% year-over-year increase. The company took over as operator of the giant Al-Shaheen field in Qatar and announced the acquisition of Maersk (OTCPK:AMKAF). These two items will serve to increase its growth going forward. Total achieved a reported net income of $2.7 billion in the third quarter of 2017, representing a 29% increase year-over-year. Undoubtedly, one of the items that will most appeal to an investor in Total that is perusing these highlights is that Total's earnings climbed fairly significantly on both a quarter-over-quarter and a year-over-year basis. While one reason for that is that the market price of both oil and natural gas increased over the period, resulting in the company generating more revenue per unit of energy produced. In addition however, Total also managed to grow its production in the latest quarter. There are a few reasons for this. In July 2017, Total completed a multi-year process to obtain a 30% ownership stake in the Al-Shareen oil field, located offshore Qatar. Al-Shareen is one of the largest known oil fields in the world, producing approximately 300,000 barrels of oil per day (roughly 40% of the Qatari total). Thus, Total completing this deal in July 2017 would naturally increase the company's production quarter-over-quarter. In addition, investors will be pleased to note that the company's role in producing at this field is valid for the next 25 years, so Total will continue to generate revenue from this field for quite some time to come. For a number of years, Total was one of several oil companies that was involved in the development of the massive Kashagan oil field located in the Caspian Sea. While this project experienced many troubles over the first decade of its existence, it finally began production on Sept. 11, 2013, although it was expected that it would take several years to expand to full production. Total is one of the companies that has continued to benefit from increasing production from Kashagan to this date and saw a production increase from it in the most recent quarter. It seems likely that Total will continue to see its production from Kashagan grow going forward as the ramp up continues and due to the size of this field, production can continue at the site for a number of years to come. As many investors that follow the industry are already well aware, oil and gas companies the world over have been actively working to reduce their cost structures. This is largely a necessity given that it seems likely that the current oil pricing environment is going to continue for quite some time. Total is no exception to this and has implemented its own cost reduction program to attempt to keep its costs down. According to Chairman and CEO Patrick Pouyanne, commenting on the company's results (see link to results above): Investment discipline continues. Organic investments were $3.1 billion in the third quarter 2017 and $10.0 billion in the first nine months, in line with the target of $14 billion this year, and cost reduction will be more than $3.6 billion, surpassing the target for this year. In effect then, Total reduced its annual costs by $3.6 billion year-over-year while still managing to grow its production. As the oil and gas industry is a very capital-intensive industry, this is certainly an impressive feat and should prove to be quite appealing to investors. While this undoubtedly increased the company's reported profits, it also has the effect of increasing the company's cash flows in the face of the "new normal" oil price environment compared to where they would otherwise be. This provides some support to Total's dividend, which historically is quite appetizing. One thing that has always appealing to investors about Total is the firm's dividend. The company quite often boasts one of the highest dividends in the oil sector, even among its European peers. In the latest quarter, the company was able to maintain this streak, declaring a quarterly dividend of €0.62 ($0.73205) per share. As of the time of writing, Total had a stock price of $55.21 per ADR, giving the company a dividend yield of 5.30%. As is the case with many oil and gas companies, Total has a history of assisting its dividend over time, assisting income-focused investors in keeping their income growing to keep up with inflation. The company has either maintained or increased its dividend for more than 30 years, a track record that is quite similar to its American peers such as Exxon Mobil (XOM) or Chevron (CVX) in this regard. Unfortunately, this has not always translated into a dividend increase for American investors, as shown here: Source: DividendChannel.org Total may actually be one of the better energy companies to own for those investors that desire or require income as it does boast one of the highest dividend yields among its peers. Source: Created by author with source data from Yahoo Finance Please note that, as with many foreign companies, U.S. citizens are often better served by holding their shares of Total in a standard brokerage account as opposed to some form of tax-advantaged vehicle. This is because France imposes a withholding tax on dividends paid by Total. This rate will either be 15% or 30% (typically 15% for individuals) depending on the status of the owner of the shares. Individuals, however, are able to take a credit against their tax returns for this amount, thus reducing their U.S. tax liability but this credit cannot be claimed if a tax-advantaged vehicle holds the shares but the tax will still be paid after the tax-advantaged account receives the dividend. This is the reason why it is recommended to hold your shares outside of your retirement account. Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.
15/11/2017
22:54
ariane: IEA's Shocking Revelation About U.S. Shale November 15, 2017, 08:38:39 AM EDT By Oilprice.com Shutterstock photo The oil market is exhibiting signs of having reached a “new normal,” according to the IEA, with the floor for oil prices jumping from $50 to $60 per barrel. But a few factors could poke holes in that price floor, and market watchers should be careful not to become overly optimistic about the trajectory for oil prices, the agency says. In its latest Oil Market Report, the Paris-based energy agency says that a confluence of events have pushed up Brent prices. Lower-than-expected oil production figures coming out of Mexico, the U.S. and the North Sea have combined with unexpected outages in Iraq (-170,000 bpd in October), Algeria, Nigeria and Venezuela. Those outages, plus the geopolitical turmoil in Iraq, and especially Saudi Arabia, have heightened tension in the oil market. Inventories also continue to decline. OECD commercial stocks fell below the symbolic 3-billion-barrel mark in September for the first time in two years. That seems to have put a floor beneath Brent crude prices at $60 per barrel, creating a “new normal” after prices had bounced around in the $50s for months. But the IEA cautions that the floor is not a solid one, and that a “fresh look at the fundamentals confirms…that the market balance in 2018 does not look as tight as some would like.” For one, some of those outages are temporary. North Sea and Mexican production recovered from maintenance, Iraq is scrambling to restore output (and raised exports from its southern fields to compensate for outages in the north), and shut-ins related to Hurricane Harvey in the U.S. have largely been restored. Libya and Nigeria saw their output inch up in October. But the real news is that the IEA downgraded its demand forecast for both this year and next. The agency lowered its 2017 forecast by 50,000 bpd, which may not seem like much, but is the result of a more recent slowdown – the agency says that demand in the fourth quarter will likely end up being 311,000 bpd lower than it previously thought. There are a variety of reasons for this, including fewer heating degree day numbers for the winter, lower demand in the Middle East (Iraq and Egypt), and some “modest changes elsewhere.” On top of that, oil prices have jumped 20 percent over the past two months, putting a dent in demand. The IEA assumes a price elasticity of oil demand at -0.04, which means that every 10 percent increase in prices implies a 400,000-bpd decline in oil demand (given that total demand is at nearly 100 mb/d). Overall, the IEA revised down its 2018 oil demand forecast by 190,000 bpd. The deceleration in demand will leave the market with a surplus in the fourth quarter, and that slowdown will continue into 2018. Global supply will exceed demand by a rather substantial 0.6 mb/d in the first quarter of next year, and the surplus will linger in the second quarter, narrowing to 0.2 mb/d. That comes after a lot of progress was made this year in lowering inventories. The supply surplus suggests that inventories will resume their climb for the next few months, perhaps through mid-2018. The sudden pessimistic outlook for the oil market is a symptom of explosive growth from U.S. shale, which, combined with other non-OPEC producers, will result in an additional 1.4 mb/d in fresh supply in 2018. That is a staggering number, and so large that “next year’s demand growth will struggle to match this,” the IEA said. The agency warned that “absent any geopolitical premium, we may not have seen a ‘new normal’ for oil prices.” In a separate report – the IEA’s annual World Energy Outlook – the agency dismissed predictions about peak oil demand, arguing that any increase in EVs will be more than offset in robust demand growth from other sectors, including trucks, aviation, maritime transport and petrochemicals. Moreover, the U.S. will apparently be the one that meets that growth in demand. The IEA said that the U.S. shale revolution will mean that combined oil and natural gas will have to rise to “a level 50% higher than any other country has ever managed.” The IEA says that the 8 mb/d increase in tight oil production between 2010 and 2025 “would match the highest sustained period of oil output growth by a single country in the history of the oil markets.” In other words, the shale revolution still has a long way to go, and when all is said and done, the U.S. will have added more supply in a shorter period of time than even Saudi Arabia did at its peak. Taken together, the two reports from the IEA may have just burst the oil price bubble – prices plunged on Tuesday, erasing a large chunk of the gains seen in recent weeks. This article was originally published on Oilprice.com. The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.
11/11/2017
14:03
grupo: Https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/energy/2017/11/11/supermajors-shell-and-exxonmobil-square-off-top-spot-oil/843854001/ Supermajors Shell and ExxonMobil square off for the top spot in oil Irina Slav, Oilprice.com Published 8:00 a.m. ET Nov. 11, 2017 Pause 0:00 0:00 Fullscreen For the few women in oil, this site creates community Pink Petro has gotten support from large companies in the industry. Video provided by Newsy Newslook getty-row-of-oil-pumps_large.jpg (Photo: Getty Images) CONNECTTWEET 4 LINKEDINCOMMENTEMAILMORE Brent’s close to $65 a barrel and WTI is climbing closer and closer to $60 — and analysts are rushing to make bullish forecasts for the fourth quarter of the year. Big Oil is preparing for an even better three-month period than Q3, when all supermajors beat profit expectations. Two of them stand out: Exxon and Shell. It’s no secret that Shell has ambitions to overtake Exxon as the world’s number-one oil company in terms of value. It’s actually on track to beat Exxon on cash flow from operations for full 2017. The Anglo-Dutch company is also considering a share buyback at some point in the future as financial performance improves and the company gains confidence that it can cover dividend payouts with cash on hand. Meanwhile, Exxon, according to some analysts, is stretching itself thinner and thinner in order to keep its dividend payout ratio at 100 percent, as it has throughout the oil price crisis. The reliability of dividends is vital for oil supermajors since they’re the top reason investors favor the industry these days. Yet, the oil price crash created another vector for Big Oil’s dividend reliability in addition to oil prices, booked reserves, and production. This vector is diversification, as it’s becoming increasingly clear that even if Exxon doesn’t feel threatened by electric cars, they may have another threat to consider. There is also climate change legislation, which, if implemented without delays, will seriously undercut the demand for fuels that constitutes Big Oil’s main revenue stream. Right now, when it comes to diversification of revenue streams, Shell is a step ahead of Exxon. The Anglo-Dutch supermajor recently bought Europe’s biggest EV charging network, NewMotion. It also has plans to double its chemicals business size by 2025, betting big on shale gas. Part of its new planned capacity is a $10 billion petrochemicals complex in the Marcellus shale. More: Goldman Sachs report makes a very bullish case for commodities More: Production quotas in question: Is $60 oil too tempting for OPEC to cheat? More: Energy stock earnings: The remarkable recovery of big oil Shell’s ambitions don’t stop there. It will spend $1 billion annually on green energy projects until 2020, and plans to derive a fifth of its global fuel station sales from EV recharging and low-carbon fuels. That’s in addition to its shift to gas following the acquisition of BG Group two years ago. Meanwhile, Exxon is also spending $1 billion annually on cleaner energy projects, but its focus in predominantly on biofuels and on projects whose commercialization lies far in the future. It is pursuing its core business as it has for decades: expanding in the shale patch. It also recently entered Brazil’s deepwater offshore zone with a $1.2-billion bid for 10 oil blocks at an auction. At the same time, Exxon is growing its petrochemicals production capacity as well. The latest piece of news in this respect was the announcement of a major investment in a petrochemical complex in China. Exxon seems to be a strong believer that petrochemicals and diesel demand from heavy-duty machinery will completely offset any increase in EV adoption. In fact, Vice President Jeff Woodbury recently said Exxon had no problem with EVs, which, according to a company forecast, would only represent 6 percent of the global passenger car fleet in 2040. Exxon won’t have a problem even if gasoline demand ended some day, it will just produce more diesel, Woodbury said. Play Video Royal Dutch Shell reported a near 50 percent rise in quarterly profits, driven by strong refining, while solid cash generation underscored the oil and gas company has adapted well to a world of low oil price. Newslook However, research is happening in the field of electric trucks as well. Tesla is set to unveil its Semi later this month. Maritime vessels are switching to LNG. Nickel and cobalt demand is rising fast, indicating a rather bullish outlook for EVs, contrary to Exxon’s skepticism. In fact, Daimler, which showcased an electric truck at the end of October, believes we’re just two years away from electric trucks that can sell for the same price as diesel vehicles, thanks to the quick drop in battery prices. Can petrochemicals alone drive Exxon’s profits up in the near-to-long term? We’ll have to wait and see, but in the current industry context and global trends in energy demand, Shell’s bet on gas and EVs in addition to chemicals and oil seems a safer one than sticking to the core business. More: Follow USA TODAY Money and Tech on Facebook Oilprice.com is a USA TODAY content partner offering energy industry news and commentary. Its content is produced independently of USA TODAY.
02/11/2017
08:22
chart trader2000: By Sarah Kent LONDON -- Royal Dutch Shell PLC said Thursday its profits more than doubled in the third quarter compared with a year earlier, as improved business conditions and rising production lifted earnings. Shell closed out a strong set of earnings for the world's biggest oil companies, which seem to have regained a level of equilibrium after years of scrambling to adapt to a sharp drop in oil prices since 2014. The British-Dutch giant said its quarterly profit on a current cost-of-supplies basis -- a number similar to the net income that U.S. oil companies report -- was $3.7 billion, up from $1.4 billion a year earlier. CEO Ben van Beurden's vow that the company is in a "lower forever" mentality seems to be paying off, even as oil prices rose above $60 a barrel for the first time since 2015 in the past week. Shell's share price has climbed to levels not seen since before prices crashed three years ago. The company has already shown it is able to cover its shareholder payouts with cash at current oil prices -- a newly important metric for investors worried about the safety of their dividends in a low-oil-price world. Shell also managed to keep a lid on debt levels, which ballooned after its $50 billion acquisition of BG Group in 2016. Net debt fell to $67.7 billion at the end of the third quarter, compared with $77.8 billion a year earlier, helped by a continuing asset disposal program and steep cost-cutting. Shell's success was reflected throughout big oil's earnings in the third quarter, as the industry seems to have adjusted to lower prices. Oil prices have staged a fragile recovery since dipping below $30 a barrel in early 2016, but remain much below their 2014 peak. The international oil price benchmark averaged around $52 a barrel in the third quarter, compared with $114 in June three years ago. Last week, Exxon Mobil Corp and Chevron Corp. both reported increases in third quarter profits of 50% compared with the prior year. French oil major Total SA saw its earnings jump 40%. On Tuesday, British oil giant BP PLC said it could cover its spending and dividends with cash with oil at $49 a barrel.
01/11/2017
11:54
ariane: BP Signals Optimism With New Buybacks -- WSJ 01/11/2017 7:02am Dow Jones News Total (EU:FP) Intraday Stock Chart Today : Wednesday 1 November 2017 Click Here for more Total Charts. By Sarah Kent This article is being republished as part of our daily reproduction of WSJ.com articles that also appeared in the U.S. print edition of The Wall Street Journal (November 1, 2017). LONDON -- BP PLC on Tuesday said it would restart its share buyback program after posting healthy third-quarter earnings, the latest signal that the oil industry has found its footing amid a modest crude-price recovery. The U.K. oil giant said its strengthened financial position allowed it to begin a share repurchase program in the final three months of 2017, though it didn't put a value on future buybacks. With Brent crude, the international benchmark, trending over $60 a barrel for the first time since 2015, BP's move ranks among the first actions showing big oil companies are healthy enough to sweeten the pot for investors who had soured on the sector. BP hasn't had a share buyback program since oil prices crashed in 2014, falling from over $114 a barrel to less than $28 a barrel in early 2016. Other companies like Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. have also moved away from the practice while they grappled with the oil-price slump. BP said it could restart buybacks because it had driven its costs so low that it can generate enough cash to cover its spending commitments and dividend at $49 a barrel. Investors are increasingly looking at this break-even metric for signs big oil companies have succeeded in shifting their financial frameworks to operate profitably at lower oil prices. "We're confident we can balance the books at $50 next year, and even manage as low as $45. That's what gave us the confidence to raise the idea of buybacks with the board," Chief Financial Officer Brian Gilvary said in an interview. Overall, BP's replacement cost profit -- a number similar to the net income that U.S. companies report -- was $1.4 billion in the third quarter, down slightly from $1.7 billion in the same period a year earlier. But its underlying financials were strong, sending its intraday share price to highs not seen since three years ago, when oil prices were over $100 a barrel. BP shares closed up 1.7% Tuesday in London. The company's refineries reported their highest underlying earnings in five years, its exploration and production unit returned to profit, and the company's oil and gas output surged 14% in the third quarter. BP is the latest major Western oil company to report profitable results for the third quarter. Last week, Exxon and Chevron both reported increases in third-quarter profits of 50% compared with the prior year. French oil company Total SA's earnings jumped 40%. Royal Dutch Shell PLC will report earnings on Thursday. BP's production rose year-over-year to 3.6 million barrels a day in the quarter, as new projects in Australia, Trinidad and Oman began production -- the latest in a series of developments expected to start up by 2020 that will bring the company's production back up to levels last seen before its fatal blowout in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. BP is still working to move past the disaster, with the final tab growing past $60 billion. But with most of those payments now made, the company has signaled it is ready to grow again and is able to do so, even in a low oil-price environment. Investors have been wary of big oil companies in recent years, concerned they couldn't generate enough cash to cover big dividends. The move "is an important signal on the confidence of the board and management on cash flow," Barclays said in a note on Tuesday. Share buybacks are popular with investors because they reduce the amount of company stock in circulation and tend to boost share value. For BP, the buybacks help offset perceived weakness in its dividend. The company uses a so-called scrip dividend program, giving shareholders the option to take their dividend in stock and alleviating the cash burden of dividends. Such programs proved helpful to oil companies during the downturn, but they also dilute the value of shareholdings. Investors are increasingly eager to see companies fully cover their dividends with cash. So far Norway's Statoil ASA is the only major oil company to announce plans to halt the scrip program altogether, and BP remains among the first to take steps to offset dilution. Mr. Gilvary said BP had discussed the possibility of removing the scrip program altogether with its board, but concluded some investors liked the option. Write to Sarah Kent at sarah.kent@wsj.com (END) Dow Jones Newswires November 01, 2017 02:47 ET (06:47 GMT)
31/10/2017
08:38
chart trader2000: By Sarah Kent LONDON -- BP PLC reported a healthy set of third-quarter profits and plans to restart its share buyback program Tuesday, signaling the company is increasingly comfortable with low oil prices as it ramps up its growth ambitions. London-based BP said it would start share buybacks in the fourth quarter, supported by strong cash generation so far this year that allowed it to cover its spending commitments and dividend at $49 a barrel. Investors are increasingly looking at this break-even metric for signs big oil companies have succeeded in shifting their financial frameworks to operate profitably at lower oil prices. BP's plans to restart share buybacks next quarter sends a strong signal of confidence to the market. The buybacks will offset dilution from the company's scrip program, which gives shareholders the option to take their dividend in stock. Such programs proved helpful to oil companies during the downturn, alleviating the cash burden of their shareholder payouts. But investors are increasingly eager to see companies able to fully cover their dividends with cash. Of the majors with such programs in place, so far only Norway's Statoil ASA has announced plans to halt the program altogether and BP remains among the first to take steps to offset dilution. While BP's replacement cost profit -- a number similar to the net income that U.S. companies report -- was $1.4 billion in the third quarter, down slightly from $1.7 billion in the same period a year earlier, its underlying financials were strong. The company reported its highest underlying earnings in its refining segment in five years, and saw its exploration and production unit return to profit after recording a loss a year earlier. The company's production rose 14% year-over-year to 3.6 million barrels a day in the quarter, as new projects in Australia, Trinidad and Oman began production -- the latest in a series of developments expected to start up by 2020 that will bring the company's production back up to levels last seen before its fatal blowout in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. BP is still working to put the disaster behind it, after selling off billions-of-dollars-worth of assets and paying out huge amounts in fines, legal fees and cleanup costs, some of which are still ongoing. But after years of retrenchment, prolonged by the sudden slump in oil prices in 2014, the company has signaled it is ready to grow again and is able to do so with the oil price at $50 a barrel. BP is the latest oil major to report a healthy set of results for the third quarter, signaling that the sector has made good progress in adjusting to lower oil prices. Profits at many of the world's biggest energy companies soared over the period, helped by a stronger crude market and stringent spending cuts. Last week, Exxon Mobil Corp and Chevron Corp. both reported increases in third quarter profits of 50% compared with the prior year. French oil major Total SA saw its earnings jump 40%. Royal Dutch Shell PLC will report later this week. The strong set of earnings plays into a run up in international oil prices to more than $60 a barrel last week -- it is highest level since 2015. That has helped lift BP's share price back to January highs when it closed in on levels last seen before oil prices crashed.
19/9/2017
13:02
chart trader2000: The North Sea Is Suddenly, Surprisingly, an Oil Hot Spot By Sarah Kent LONDON -- For over a decade, the North Sea's once-booming oil sector was mired in decline. Against the odds, it has emerged as an unlikely bright spot in today's stormy global energy industry. Investors have sunk more than $16 billion so far this year into European deals for assets mostly located in the North Sea, a flurry that far outstrips energy deal activity in all but American shale country and Canada's oil sands, according to Edinburgh-based energy consulting firm Wood Mackenzie. The biggest deal came last month, with Total SA's $5 billion purchase of A.P. Moeller-Maersk's North Sea-focused oil-and-gas business. The deal was a sign major oil companies are still willing to invest significant amounts in the region. Many are refocusing on relatively new areas where they can grow, as private-equity funds buy up aging assets and infrastructure that key players have been looking to shed. Royal Dutch Shell PLC is planning on spending $600 million to $1 billion a year in the North Sea in the coming years, while BP PLC expects to double its production there by 2020. Norway's Statoil ASA has greenlighted production from a new North Sea field that, at its peak, could pump more oil than the entire nation of Ecuador, a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. "We see the North Sea turning things around," BP Chief Executive Bob Dudley recently told an oil conference in Aberdeen, Scotland, the center of the British oil industry. The whirl of activity marks a new chapter for the vast oil-producing region in the waters separating Great Britain from Northern Europe. Just last year, the U.K.'s North Sea energy industry was described as "at the edge of a chasm" by trade association Oil & Gas UK, as low oil prices hammered investment in a region full of aging, depleted fields. At its peak around 2000, the North Sea produced similar amounts of oil to Saudi Arabia, but output has fallen by around 34% since then, a trajectory that only recently began to reverse. The region still faces significant challenges. Despite all the M&A activity, only a handful of new developments have been approved this year. And a record number of proposals to dismantle existing infrastructure was submitted in the first half of this year, according to Wood Mackenzie. But the stabilization in oil prices, some new oil and gas discoveries and the emergence of private-equity money have helped create a sense of optimism across the North Sea industry not seen since prices crashed in 2014. Private-equity funds have built up war chests totaling $15 billion for North Sea acquisitions, Wood Mackenzie said. Companies backed by funds including EIG Global Energy Partners, Carlyle Group and CVC Capital Partners have already bought sizable asset packages in the region. Among the largest, after Total, was the $3.8 billion deal made in January by Chrysaor Holdings Ltd., the EIG-backed oil company, for a chunk of Shell's North Sea assets. Shell is now focused on maintaining its North Sea output at around 150,000 barrels a day into the late 2020s. "The North Sea is in a window of opportunity," Linda Cook, chairman of Chrysaor and chief executive of EIG's investment vehicle, Harbour Energy, said in an interview. "We intend for this to be the first of many acquisitions in the region." BP has also approached potential buyers about its North Sea oil assets -- although, like Shell, it says it remains committed to the region. In fact, BP and other major oil players say they are looking at growth in the North Sea, especially in an area west of the Shetland Islands that was once considered too difficult to develop. Chevron Corp. is sitting on one of the region's largest undeveloped fields, which the company says it is working to advance this year. Total's deal last month is evidence that big oil companies continue to see value in the region. It marked the biggest North Sea-weighted deal in more than a decade, according to Wood Mackenzie, and was Total's largest purchase since the oil-and-gas megamergers at the turn of the century. The oil-price downturn over the past three years has forced oil producers to make deep cost cuts and driven down prices for contractors and services. Those changes are starting to show results. BP has slashed its average production costs in the North Sea from a peak of more than $30 a barrel in 2014 to less than $15 a barrel at present. By the end of the decade, the company expects that to come down to below $12 a barrel, Mr. Dudley said last week. Shell's costs have fallen by 60% -- a reduction matched at competitors, said Steve Phimister, the company's U.K. production director. "The thing that has differentiated the North Sea is that we've been using that downturn to right the ship," said Mr. Phimister.
21/4/2017
07:06
fangorn2: Why the Market for Fossil Fuels Is All Burnt Out Here is an early section of this interesting article by Jillian Ambrose for The Telegraph: If Helm is to be believed the oil market downturn is only getting started. The latest collapse is the harbinger of a global energy revolution which could spell the end-game for fossil fuels. These theories were laughable less than a decade ago when oil prices grazed highs of more than $140 a barrel. But the burn out of the oil industry is approaching quicker than was first thought, and the most senior leaders within the industry are beginning to take note. In the past, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has faced down criticism that its global energy market forecasts have overestimated the role of oil and underplayed the boom in renewable energy sources. But last month the tone changed. The agency warned oil and gas companies that failing to adapt to the climate policy shift away from fossil fuels and towards cleaner energy would leave a total of $1 trillion in oil assets and $300bn in natural gas assets stranded. For oil companies who heed Helm’s advice, the route ahead is a ruthless harvest-and-exit strategy. This would mean an aggressive slashing of capital expenditure, pumping of remaining oil reserves while keeping costs to the floor and paying out very high dividends. “They’d never do it because no company board would contemplate running a smaller company tomorrow than today. It’s not in the zeitgeist of the corporate world we’re in, but that’s what they should do,” Helm says. BP and Royal Dutch Shell are slowly shifting from oil to gas and making even more tentative steps in the direction of low-carbon energy. But Helm is not entirely convinced that oil companies have grasped the speed with which the industry is undergoing irrevocable change. “As the oil price fell, at each point, oil executives said that the price would go back up again,” says Helm. “What the oil companies did was borrow to pay their dividends on the assumption that this is a temporary problem. It’s my view that it is permanent,” he adds. For a start, there is scant precedent for the price highs of recent decades. Between 1900 to the late Sixties oil prices fluctuated in a range between $15 a barrel to just above $30 a barrel – even through two world wars, population growth and a revolution in transport and industry. It was geopolitical events which caused oil prices to surge by more than $100 a barrel following the Middle East oil embargoes of the late sixties and early seventies. They collapsed back to $20 by the Eighties. So, what drove oil prices to the heady levels of $140 a barrel just less than 10 years ago? “China,” says Helm, barely missing a beat. “If you look at both the rapid growth in emissions and the rapid growth of oil, fossil fuel and all commodity prices, it was while China was doubling its economy every seven years. This is a phenomenal rate. David Fuller's view Oil prices spiked above $140 a barrel in 2008 because of supply reductions from OPEC countries, not least due to regional wars. This has never been fully recognised as a huge factor in what is generally remembered as the credit crisis recession which followed. In 2009 OPEC lowered production once again, leading to a move back above $120 a barrel two years later. By 2014 subsidised renewables were gradually eroding the market for crude oil. However, the really big change was the US development of fracking technology, leading to a surge in the production of crude oil and natural gas. We should always remember these two adages, particularly with commodities: 1) the cure for high prices is high prices. These lower demand somewhat but the bigger overall influence is an increase in supply. Conversely, the cure for low prices is low prices. Demand increases somewhat when prices are lower but more importantly, supply is eventually reduced. How have these adages influenced commodity prices in recent years and what can we expect over the lengthy medium term?
18/10/2016
17:35
chart trader2000: By Sarah Kent and Kevin Baxter LONDON -- The prospect of rising oil prices has the global energy industry considering a strategy that has been unthinkable for much of a two-year-long market slump: Making new investments. Big oil companies are moving ahead with new spending again, says BP PLC Chief Executive Bob Dudley on the sidelines of the Oil and Money conference here. The British oil company he heads has taken final investment decisions on a handful of projects this year and is expected to approve more in 2017, he said. "Investments are back," Mr. Dudley said. "But it's only going to be the very best." Mr. Dudley's comments highlight a pervasive sentiment among oil-industry executives and government officials that there is light at the end of the tunnel, as they grope through one of the industry's darkest moments. For the past two years, the industry has been roiled by oil prices that collapsed to less than $50 a barrel from 2014 highs of $114 a barrel, and never recovering to those previous highs. Now, with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries promising a modest output cut and prices generally on the rise, executives and industry leaders say they have a sense of guarded hope as oil prices hover around $50 to $52 a barrel. Mr. Dudley predicted an oil price of between $50 and $60 a barrel in 2017, compared with prices that have ranged between $28 a barrel and $53 this year. Ali Moshiri, president of African and Latin America Exploration and Production at Chevron Corp., said U.S. shale producers would invest again if prices rise to $60 a barrel. "The phenomenon of shale oil is real and when prices rise to $60 a barrel you will see the level of active rigs rise. This is inevitable," Mr. Moshiri said during a panel discussion. A rising oil price would allow the energy industry to make needed investments, restore some of the tens of thousands of jobs cut in the past two years and stem some of the economic pain rippling through oil-dependent economies from Venezuela to Saudi Arabia. Cuts by OPEC, the 14-nation cartel that controls more than a third of the world's crude production, would amount to about 1% to 2% of its 33.2 million barrels a day of production and help draw down the vast oversupply of oil that has flooded world markets. But OPEC and other oil producers must be careful, said Fatih Birol, the executive director of the International Energy Agency, in an interview here. Pushing prices too high would boost U.S. oil output, stop rapid declines in production in countries like China and Colombia and put a brake on fragile oil demand, he said. Oil-industry investment declined in 2015 and 2016 and is likely to fall again in 2017 unless there is a sea change -- the first time in recorded history that energy investment would decline for three straight years, Mr. Birol said. John B. Hess, chief executive of the New York-based oil company Hess Corp., warned that without new investments, the world's balance of supply and demand would turn quickly from a glut of oil today to a shortage of petroleum in the future. "We're not investing enough today...to ensure that oil supply keeps up with demand, 2018, 2019, 2020," he said. ConocoPhillips Chief Executive Ryan Lance said the recent rise in prices wouldn't be enough for companies to start spending money again on massive long-term projects. "Prices are still pretty low to justify significant investments," Mr. Lance said. Ian Taylor, the chief executive of the world's largest independent oil trader, Switzerland-based Vitol Group, said the oil-market's supply and demand balance would remain out of whack for the next year. His price prediction for October 2017? $54.99, compared with about $52 in recent days. --Sarah McFarlane contributed to this article.
17/8/2016
11:51
chart trader2000: Hello Share Swiggers. If you have shares in producing oil firms you might want to consider hanging onto them. And if you have spare cash you might research a few likely companies with a view to a bit more investment. The reason is that the price of Brent crude oil is going up again. It is tickling $50 a barrel as I write. It was there a few months ago when the price level caused some excitement. Quite a few oil companies nudged up on the news, including Shell (RDSA) and BP (BP.). A lot of rejoicing went on then in the Stacey household as I hold far too many shares in both companies. But then the oil price fell nearer to $40 dollars again - and Shell, BP and a lot of other big oilers began to suffer once more. But now oil share prices have been easing forward again. And in my view, this time the value of Brent crude will continue to put on weight. I am indebted to ADVFN for a few facts about Brent crude oil. Brent is a special kind of light oil used to make petrol, marine gas and diesel. Crude oil supplies 40% of the world’s needs. The biggest customer is the USA which gobbles up 20 million barrels a day. China is the second largest consumer of crude oil only taking 8 million barrels a day. And I bet you’ve always wanted to know this - a barrel of crude contains 42 gallons of the amber nectar. Oil shares have let us all down in the last few years. But they have been a big profit maker for share shifters like us before that. The big companies tend to pay juicy dividends too. And it looks to me as though the price of oil will go on rising now, as world surpluses begin to be mopped up. So I'm not selling any oil shares any time now. But you must make your own decision. Oil prices are never stable for long. - See more at: hxxp://www.shareprophets.com/views/23032/as-brent-crude-rallies-it-could-be-time-to-grease-your-portfolio-with-more-oilers#sthash.BaVqzjbe.dpuf
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