Monday, May 25, 2020

Low Oil Prices News

Rockhopper Reducing Headcount, Directors' Salaries

Sea Lion development scheme - Credit: Premier Oil

Oil and gas company Rockhopper, with a share in the Sea Lion project off the Falkland Islands, has announced a set of cost-cutting measures which include headcount reductions, and directors' salary reduction.The company said Tuesday that due to the "external events affecting the sector" - meaning low oil prices and the pandemic - it would further reduce ongoing G&A costs and re-balance executive director remuneration from cash to equity "while ensuring retention of key staff, capabilities, and knowledge within the business."The company's measures include a permanent reduction to executive director base remuneration…

Equinor Raises $3.9 Bln in the Bond Market

(Photo: Equinor)

Norwegian oil company Equinor raised $3.4 billion in euro and dollar bonds on Monday, in its latest push to secure long-term funding at a time of weak crude prices."In the current volatile market situation characterised by high uncertainty going forward, we see the value in further increasing our financial flexibility and resilience," Chief Financial Officer Lars Christian Bacher said in a statement.Initial issues of a six-year 750 million euro ($819 million) bond and a 12-year 1 billion euro bond earlier on Monday were followed shortly after by two U.S.

Rystad: Oilfield Services Firms' Market Cap Halved. Offshore Drillers Have it Worst

For Illustration - Image by Ranimiro - AdobeStock

Oilfield services companies have collectively lost almost half of their market capitalization, hit by the combination of the coronavirus pandemic and low oil prices, with offshore drillers, in particular, the most affected, Norway's Rystad Energy has said in its analysis released on Friday."It is widely acknowledged that the oilfield services sector (OFS) is the energy world’s worst-hit market from the Covid-19 pandemic. What is staggering is the extent that the capitalization of listed OFS companies has fallen," Rystad said.Analyzing a representative group of 116 listed OFS companies…

Transocean Disposing Of Two Semi-Submersibles

GSF Development Driller II - U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Barry Bena

Offshore drilling contractor Transocean is disposing of a pair of floating drilling units, the ultra-deepwater semi-submersible drilling rig GSF Development Driller II, and the midwater semi-sub Transocean 712.The 2005-built GSF Development Driller has been stacked since 2016.According to the company's recent fleet status report, the 1983-built Transocean 712 was stacked in April 2020, having worked for Chrysaor. The rig's contract will Chyrsaor will be substituted with either the Paul B. Loyd or the Transocean Leader rig."The company expects to dispose…

Saudi Arabia to Reduce Oil Production Further

Illustration only - Credit:look_67 / AdobeStock

Saudi Arabia will voluntarily deepen oil output cuts from June as low oil prices are causing huge pain to the kingdom's budget and global demand remains weak due to lockdowns to contain the coronavirus pandemic.The announcement by the kingdom to add 1 million barrels per day (bpd) - equal to 1% of global supply - to the previously announced cuts follows last week's phone conversation between U.S. President Donald Trump and Saudi Arabia's King Salman.Trump had worked last month to persuade Saudi Arabia, fellow OPEC members and Russia - a group known as OPEC+ - to cut oil output after a collapse in crude prices put heavy pressure on U.S.

Total Keeps Dividend Steady in 'Exceptional Circumstances'

Total Logo - Image by dvoevnore/AdobeStock

French energy major Total promised to pay a steady cash dividend and said it can break even with low oil prices after the impact of the coronavirus outbreak and a collapse in fuel demand led to a 35% first-quarter profit fall.It also raised its climate ambitions, saying it aims to reach net-zero emissions from its operations and its energy products sold to customers by 2050 at the latest, but only in Europe.For oil majors, the crisis caused by the novel coronavirus compounds a climate crisis that has deterred some investors from investing in planet-warming fossil fuels.Maintaining dividends is one way to lure shareholders and Total's shares rose 7.5% in opening trade…

New Offshore Acreage Licensing to Drop 60% in 2020, Rystad says

An offshore drilling rig - Image by Namthip - AdobeStock

Newly licensed offshore oil and gas exploration acreage is likely to fall by about 60% and onshore acreage by 30% compared with 2019 levels, Rystad Energy has said, as the Norwegian energy market analytics company expects more than half of the world’s planned licensing rounds to be canceled this year due to the combined effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and the low oil prices."This year was slated to be another remarkable year for exploration with about 45 countries launching at least 52 lease rounds, about 60% of them in offshore areas. The decline in the expected number of lease rounds compared to last year’s 69 was not a sign of fewer countries offering new licenses…

Offshore Drillers to Lose $3B Due To COVID-19, Low Oil Prices

A jack-up drilling rig - Image by namning - AdobeStock

Offshore drillings contractors leasing drilling rigs to oil and gas companies are set to lose contracts worth $3 billion in combined revenue in 2020 and 2021, Rystad Energy said Thursday, citing the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and low oil prices.According to Rystad, the estimated contract value in 2020–2021 is $30 billion in total; $20 billion in 2020 and $10 billion in 2021. "So far six rig years of contracts have been canceled, translating to approximately $400 million in contract value. These numbers will only increase as operators continue to slash capex budgets and delay projects…

Oil Economics: Freight Rate Surge Cuts into Trader's Profits

© Björn Wylezich/AdobeStock

A jump in freight rates has shaved profits for oil traders seeking to store crude for sale towards the end of the year, even as the contango in the first six months for Brent futures stretched to its widest ever, trade sources said.While a sharp rebound in spot crude differentials could lift traders' profits, a broadening slump in global demand is stretching out the time that markets will need to digest bulging inventories and spark a price recovery, traders said.Unlike in previous contango plays -- where low oil prices eventually prompted major producers to tighten supplies…

Brent, WTI Fall as Coronavirus Spreads

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Brent fell by 10% on Monday, and U.S. crude to below $30, as emergency rate cuts by the U.S. Federal Reserve and its global counterparts failed to tame markets and China's factory output plunged at the sharpest pace in 30 years amid the spread of coronavirus.Brent crude was down $3.58, or 10.6%, to $30.27 a barrel by 1231 GMT. The front-month price had risen $1 earlier in the session.U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was at $29.24, down $2.49 or 7.8%.To combat the economic fallout of the pandemic, the Fed on Sunday cut its key rate to near zero…

ORCA Hub Readies Drones for Offshore Energy

 Image: Heriot-Watt University

A consortium of five universities, including Heriot-Watt University, working with 35 industrial and innovation partners, has unveiled the latest results from its research collaboration.The largest academic center in the world for research into robotics technology for offshore energy infrastructure, the ORCA Hub’s aim is to advance robotics and Artificial Intelligence technologies for the inspection, repair, maintenance and certification of offshore energy platforms and assets.Creating solutions to some of the most challenging, hard to reach and hazardous real-world problems in the energy sector, ORCA Hub was launched in October 2017.

Saudi Aramco Pursues IPO Planning Despite Attack

Saudi Aramco president and CEO 
Amin H. Nasser (Photo: Saudi Aramco)

Saudi Aramco is pressing ahead with its listing plans this week, although some investors and analysts doubt it can now meet its timeline as it has not said when oil output will be restored after attacks on its facilitiesReuters has reported it could take months for Aramco, the world's biggest oil firm, to restore output after Saturday's attacks, which cut production by 5.7 million barrels per day, some 5% of world oil supply.The state-owned oil group will meet local Saudi banks to discuss the initial public offering (IPO) plans, but bankers at international lenders working on the IPO told Reuters there had been no communication from Aramco's management on any delay.Aramco…

Oil Majors Rush to Dominate US Shale

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In New Mexico's Chihuahuan Desert, Exxon Mobil Corp is building a massive shale oil project that its executives boast will allow it to ride out the industry's notorious boom-and-bust cycles.Workers at its Remuda lease near Carlsbad - part of a staff of 5,000 spread across New Mexico and Texas - are drilling wells, operating fleets of hydraulic pumps and digging trenches for pipelines.The sprawling site reflects the massive commitment to the Permian Basin by oil majors, who have spent an estimated $10 billion buying acreage in the top U.S. shale field since the beginning of 2017…

Aker BP Raises Dividend, Q4 Profit Lags

(Photo: Aker BP)

Norwegian oil company Aker BP posted a smaller-than-expected increase in fourth-quarter earnings due to higher production costs and lower oil prices, but raised its dividend.The company said on Wednesday earnings before interest and taxes rose to $403 million from $305 million in the same quarter a year earlier, lagging the $491 million expected by analysts in a Reuters poll.The Oslo-listed firm's shares opened down 2 percent, lagging a 0.5 percent fall in the European oil and gas index."Revenues were impacted by low oil prices at the end of the quarter…

Shell Appoints Sawan as Upstream Boss

Wael Sawan (Photo: Shell)

Royal Dutch Shell has appointed Wael Sawan to head its oil and gas production division, replacing Andy Brown who will step down after 35 years at the Anglo-Dutch company.Sawan, 44, a Canadian citizen of Lebanese origin, currently heads Shell's deepwater operations, one of the company's cash growth engines in recent years. He joined Shell in 1997.Brown, 56, will remain a member of Shell's executive committee until his departure on Sept.

Petronas Sets Up Team for Renewables Push

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Malaysian state-owned oil and gas firm Petroliam Nasional Berhad, or Petronas, has set up a new business within the group to make a push into renewable energy, the head of the new venture said on Tuesday.Petronas has expressed interest over the last year to diversify into renewables amid low oil prices. In March, Chief Executive Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin said Petronas will explore new business areas including new energy and that the company will assess opportunities in solar power.Jay Mariyappan told an industry forum that the 'New Energy' team is…

Oil Falls on Gloomier Economic Forecast

File Image / Adobestock © scanrail

Fund managers cut bullish crude holdings to 15-month low.Oil prices fell on Monday, as concern over the global economy put crude on track for its biggest monthly fall since mid-2016.Brent crude oil futures were down 34 cents at $77.28 a barrel at 1005 GMT, while U.S. crude futures fell by 30 cents to $67.29.Even with U.S. sanctions on Iranian exports due to come into force in under a week, oil has lost nearly 7 percent in value this month, the largest percentage decline since July 2016.Industrial commodities such as crude and copper have been rattled by hefty losses in global equities due to concern over corporate earnings…

Baker Hughes to Bid for Petrobras Production-sharing Contract

General Electric Co's unit Baker Hughes is preparing an offer for a production-sharing deal with Brazil's Petrobras, a Baker Hughes executive said on Tuesday, as the state-run oil company seeks creative ways to boost output from mature fields.Reuters reported in June that Baker Hughes was considering a bid, while Halliburton Co and Schlumberger NV were already preparing them, seeking to clinch Petrobras' first-ever tender for a production sharing deal with an oil services company."It's a lot of work. Anything that is the first time requires lots of work," Alejandro Duran, Baker Hughes' Brazil country manager, told Reuters in an interview.

Russia's Rosneft More Than Triples Q2 Net Profit

Photo: Rosneft

Russia's Rosneft more than triples Q2 net profit, shares hit recordRussia's largest oil producer Rosneft said on Tuesday its second-quarter net profit more than tripled to 228 billion roubles ($3.6 billion) on higher production and prices, pushing its shares to an all-time peak.Rosneft, in which Qatar is set to become the third-largest shareholder after the Russian state and BP, said its profit was also supported by a one-off gain from a share acquisition in an upstream joint venture and the revaluation of a stake in another joint venture.Headed by Igor Sechin…

OPEC Output Hike Will Squeeze Oil Buffer to Historic Lows

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The oil industry will face the biggest squeeze on its spare production capacity in more than three decades if OPEC and its allies agree next week to hike crude output, leaving the world more at risk of a price spike from any supply disruption.Spare capacity is the extra production oil producing states can bring onstream and sustain at short notice, providing global markets with a cushion in the event of natural disaster, conflict or any other cause of an unplanned supply outage.That buffer could shrink from more than 3 percent of global demand now to about 2 percent…