U.S. Oil Firms Hit Brakes on Return-to-work as Virus Cases Soar
U.S. energy companies slammed the brakes on returning staff to their Houston offices as COVID-19 cases soared and top hospitals warned they could soon run out of beds for the most severely ill patients.A record number of new illnesses in Texas this week spurred local officials to impose restrictions as new cases topped 5,000 on two days in a row. Intensive care unit (ICU) beds were 97% full at Houston's Texas Medical Center, which said it may soon move to surge ICU capacity assignments…
Kazakhstan: No Shutdown Planned for COVID-19-hit Tengiz Field
Kazakhstan has no plans to shut down oil production at its biggest oilfield, Tengiz, despite the novel coronavirus outbreak among its workers, the Central Asian nation's energy minister said on Wednesday.Kazakhstan's chief sanitary doctor said last week the field's operator, Chevron-led Tengizchevroil, might have to suspend operations if a plan to curb the spread of the virus at the site fails.But Energy Minister Nurlan Nogayev told a briefing there was no immediate risk of such measures being taken."The matter of shutting down the field is not being considered…
Qatar Petroleum to Cut Spending by 30%
Qatar Petroleum will slash its spending by around 30% this year in the face of the sharp drop in oil and gas prices due to the coronavirus epidemic, its Chief Executive said on Thursday.Speaking during a webcast organized by the U.S-Qatar Business Council, Saad al-Kaabi however said that plans to sharply expand Qatar Petroleum's liquefied natural gas (LNG) capacity by the middle of the decade remain on track."We are going through budget revisions... In June we will be somewhere in the range of 30% reduction in expenditure…
Petrobras Sees No Need to Cut Oil Production
Brazil's state-run Petrobras sees no need for cuts in oil production, executives say, as the market for its crude remains robust in China, while domestic demand for fuel picks up amid social distancing fatigue in Latin America's largest economy.On a Friday earnings call with analysts, executives credited the company's strong relationship with independent refineries in China's Shandong Province, known as "teapots,"' for allowing Petrobras to export a record amount of crude in recent months, even as some economies are effectively shut.
Chevron Cuts Spending, Says Asset Sales Lift Profits
Chevron Corp on Friday slashed its capital spending plans by another $2 billion as the coronavirus pandemic guts demand for oil and gas, while delivering a year-over-year 38% increase in profits.Global fuel demand has crashed by a third while many people shelter at home for an indefinite period. Major oil companies have largely reported losses as an oil glut and a shortage of storage space sends prices to historic lows.Earnings at Chevron beat Wall Street expectations and were $3.6 billion in the first quarter…
Exxon Posts First Loss in 30 Years on $3 Bln Writedown, Oil Plunge
Exxon Mobil Corp on Friday posted its first quarterly loss in three decades on plunging oil demand and collapsing prices, reporting a $610 million quarterly deficit after a nearly $3 billion inventory writedown.Global fuel demand has tumbled by a third on coronavirus-related lockdowns and business shutdowns. Oil giants largely have reported losses on weaker margins and writedowns from an oil glut that has sent prices to historic lows.All of Exxon's businesses posted lower year-over…
Woodside Watching Supermajors' Woes for Opportunities
Woodside Petroleum is keeping a close eye out for assets that might come up for grabs from the oil supermajors amid the oil market rout, seeing itself in a position to bid, Chief Executive Peter Coleman said on Friday.The head of Australia's top independent gas producer said, however, deals were unlikely until the third or fourth quarter of this year."We are watching closely the super majors," Coleman told reporters on a conference call the day after Woodside's annual meeting.He said…
Shell Cuts Dividend for First Time Since World War Two
Royal Dutch Shell cut its dividend for the first time since World War Two on Thursday as the energy company retrenched in the face of an unprecedented drop in oil demand due to the coronavirus pandemic.Shell also suspended the next tranche of its share buyback program and said it was reducing oil and gas output by nearly a quarter after its net profit almost halved in the first three months of 2020.Shell's shares in London dropped 6.7% in early trading on Thursday, underperforming rival BP."Given the risk of a prolonged period of economic uncertainty…
When Oil Became Waste
A week of turmoil for crude, and more pain to comeThe magnitude of how damaged the energy industry is came into full view on April 20 when the benchmark price of U.S. oil futures, which had never dropped below $10 a barrel in its nearly 40-year history, plunged to a previously unthinkable minus $38 a barrel.In just a few months, the coronavirus pandemic has destroyed so much fuel demand as billions of people curtail travel that it has done what financial crashes, recessions and wars…
Diamond Offshore Files for Bankruptcy
Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc filed for bankruptcy protection in Texas on Sunday, after the company recently skipped making an interest payment and said it had retained restructuring advisers.The Houston-based contract drilling company's filing, one of 15 of its group companies seeking protection under Chapter 11, said day rates and demand for its services had "worsened precipitously" this year amid a "price war" between OPEC and Russia and the steep drop in oil demand caused by the…
U.S. Oil Firms' Quarterly Reports to Show Depths of Slump
Investors are in for more bad news on the energy front in the coming weeks as a host of the sector's biggest companies report quarterly results following the historic collapse in oil prices.Forecasts for U.S. energy sector earnings this year have dropped along with oil prices, weighing on shares along with worries over debt, layoffs and possible bankruptcies.Analysts see a 58.9% year-over-year decline in energy earnings for the first quarter, steeper even than the 37.7% decline they projected at the start of the month, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
OPEC+ Debates Biggest Ever Oil Output Cut as Virus Destroys Demand
OPEC and allies are working on a deal for an unprecedented production cut equivalent to around 10% of global supply, an OPEC source said after U.S. President Donald Trump called on oil nations to stop the oil rout caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The meeting of OPEC and allies such as Russia has been scheduled for Monday, April 6, Azeri's energy ministry said, but details were still thin on the exact distribution of production cuts. Oil prices have fallen to around $20 per barrel from $65 at the start of the year as more than 3 billion people went into lockdown because of the virus…
Chevron Lummus Global Lands 'Sizeable' Deal with Asian Refiner
Oilfield services firm McDermott International has informed that its Chevron Lummus Global (CLG), McDermott's joint venture with Chevron, has been awarded a sizeable contract by a Southeast Asian refiner.The contract is for for the license, engineering, and supply of proprietary catalyst and equipment for its Lubricant Base Oil Group II Project to be built in Southeast Asia. McDermott defines a sizeable contract as between USD $1 million and USD $50 million.The new 5,200-barrels-per-day unit will employ CLG's state-of-the-art lubricant base oil technologies for premium lube base oil production.
Shell Cuts Capex, Suspends Share Buyback
Oil major Shell lowered capital expenditure for 2020 by about $5 billion on Monday and suspended the next tranche of its share buyback plan, as the company tries to weather a hit from the recent oil price crash. The company said it would reduce 2020 cash capital expenditure to $20 billion or below from a planned level of around $25 billion, adding that the initiatives would contribute $8 billion-$9 billion to free cash flow on a pre-tax basis. Shell also said underlying operating costs will be cut by $3 billion to $4 billion per annum over the next 12 months compared to 2019 levels.
U.S. Offshore Oil Lease Sale Weakest Since 2016
A major sale of oil and gas leases in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday generated $93 million in high bids, the lowest total for any U.S. offshore auction since 2016, reflecting caution in the drilling industry amid a steep slide in oil prices.Firing up offshore drilling is a crucial part of U.S. President Donald Trump's "energy dominance" agenda to maximize domestic production of crude oil, natural gas, and coal. But the energy industry is in crisis as the coronavirus outbreak decimates world demand for fuel and crushes prices."While bidding did take a tough hit…
Oil Giants Set Health Checks, Work-from-home Rules
Major energy companies in the United States imposed work-from-home rules for office staff and began health checks for remote or critical workers as coronavirus spread and threatened an industry reeling from falling demand and profits.BP, Exxon Mobil, Kinder Morgan, Motiva Enterprises and Royal Dutch Shell told most office staff to work from home starting Monday. Federal regulators on Friday were pressed by companies to ease work rules for pipeline operators and to limit visits to some sites. Shell and Chevron began health checks of workers and visitors at some key U.S.
ExxonMobil Calls for Tighter Methane Regulations
ExxonMobil on Tuesday called for tighter regulation of the greenhouse gas methane and offered up its own in-house rules as a model for companies and lawmakers worldwide.The largest U.S. oil company laid out the guidelines it follows - some of which have been rolled back by the Trump administration - at a time when the industry faces growing pressure from investors to reduce its environmental footprint.The move is a "clear rebuke" of the Trump administration said Ben Ratner, senior director at the Environmental Defense Fund.
Upstream Sector Leads O&A M&A in 2019
A latest research revealed that the upstream sector accounted for the bulk of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the global oil and gas industry in 2019, generating some high-value transactions during the process.According to GlobalData's theme report, ‘M&A in Oil and Gas – 2020’, the acquisition of Anadarko Petroleum by Occidental Petroleum in April 2019 for a purchase consideration of US$57bn was the highlight of oil and gas M&A activity last year, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.Ravindra Puranik…
Saudi Aramco joins oil blockchain platform Vakt
Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures has bought into blockchain-based trading platform Vakt with $5 million in new shares, Vakt said on Tuesday.Aramco Trading Co, a subsidiary of Saudi Aramco, will use the platform.The VAKT platform specializes in post-trade processing.
US Extends License for Chevron's Operations in Venezuela
The U.S. Treasury Department on Saturday renewed a license allowing Chevron, the last U.S. energy company operating in Venezuela, to continue working in the country until April 22.In January, the United States imposed sanctions on Venezuela's state-run oil company PDVSA in an effort to oust President Nicolas Maduro, though he remains in power. The Treasury issued Chevron a six-month license to operate, however, which has been renewed in three-month periods.Chevron has been in Venezuela for nearly 100 years and has about 300 direct employees there.