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Mar. 6, 2015, 5:57 PM
- Oil drillers expecting prices to rebound have come up with an alternative to storing their crude in tanks: They’re keeping it in the ground, as drillers who have spent millions boring holes through petroleum-rich shale are just waiting for prices to go up before actually turning on the spigot.
- The backlog of unfracked wells is one reason U.S. crude output is poised to climb even as companies have idled more than a third of the rigs that were drilling for oil in October; Continental Resources' (NYSE:CLR) Harold Hamm says ~85% of U.S. wells aren’t being completed right now.
- Examples: Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE:APC) says it expects to have as many as 440 uncompleted wells by year's end, EOG started the year with ~200 uncompleted wells and plans to let that inventory build through H1, and Canadian Natural Resources (NYSE:CNQ) says it has 161 uncompleted wells.
- Initial production from a new well typically is 750-1,000 bbl/day, meaning the "fracklog" could represent as much as 3M bbl/day of new output, at least at the outset - a major reason an oil price recovery will prove to be an extended process, analysts say.
- ETFs: USO, OIL, UCO, SCO, BNO, DTO, DBO, UWTI, USL, DWTI, DNO, SZO, OLO, TWTI, OLEM
- Earlier: Oil glut's latest dilemma: where to store it all
Mar. 5, 2015, 2:38 PM
- Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ +4.7%) confirms that it plans to spin off or sell its royalty land business this year once energy prices have stabilized.
- “We target this monetization in 2015,” CNQ President Steve Laut said on today's earnings conference call without specifying how the company would do so; CNQ has publicly discussed "monetizing" the business over the past year after Encana raised more than $4B in an IPO and secondary offering of its royalty business, spun out as PrairieSky Royalty.
- Shares have been strong all day following better than expected Q4 earnings as more oil was pumped to counter the effect of plunging prices, and CNQ's move to raise its dividend even as other oil producers have cut or eliminated dividends.
Mar. 5, 2015, 9:13 AM
- Canadian Natural Resources (NYSE:CNQ) +1.9% premarket after reporting Q4 earnings that almost tripled from a year ago and raising its dividend while other oil producers have cut or eliminated dividends.
- Q4 production rose 27% Y/Y to nearly 861K boe/day from 677K, while output for the full year gained nearly 18% to 790K boe/day; production got a boost from CNQ's purchase last year of Devon Energy's western Canadian natural gas and light oil assets.
- Targets 2015 production at 850K-897K boe/day, including crude oil and natural gas liquids production of 562K-602K bbl/day.
- CNQ is cutting another C$150M from its 2015 capital budget to C$6.04B, citing a reduction in the number of planned maintenance turnaround days scheduled at its Horizon oil sands operation; CNQ expects to bolster Horizon output by ~10K bbl/day by reducing the planned outage to six days from 35.
- CNQ says its management committee will see a 10% pay cut and the board will reduce its annual cash retainer by 10%.
Mar. 5, 2015, 8:56 AM
- Canadian Natural Resources (NYSE:CNQ) declares C$0.23/share quarterly dividend, 2.2% increase from prior dividend of C$0.225.
- Forward yield 2.5%
- Payable April 1; for shareholders of record March 16; ex-div March 12.
Mar. 5, 2015, 7:28 AM
- Canadian Natural Resources (NYSE:CNQ): Q4 EPS of $0.69 misses by $0.02.
- Revenue of $4.38B (+10.9% Y/Y)
Mar. 4, 2015, 5:30 PM
Mar. 4, 2015, 11:22 AM
- Kinder Morgan (KMI -0.6%) wants to drill through Burnaby Mountain in British Columbia to reach an oil-loading ship terminal, but WSJ reports that it is facing more challenges than the mountain itself, as it also is battling resistance from Vancouver officials and protestors opposed to fossil fuel development.
- Burnaby Mountain has become a symbolic battlefield in a much larger debate about energy resources in North America, opponents and supporters of the pipeline plan say.
- Canadian oil producers are counting on KMI’s $4.3B proposal to triple the capacity of the existing Trans Mountain pipeline, which connects Alberta’s oil sands to a Pacific coast terminal, as the fate of the Keystone XL pipeline remains in limbo.
- More than a dozen oil companies have binding deals for up to 20 years with the pipeline, including Exxon (NYSE:XOM) affiliate Imperial Oil (NYSEMKT:IMO), Cenovus Energy (NYSE:CVE) and Canadian Natural Resources (NYSE:CNQ), who view the project as a vital link to new markets in Asia.
Feb. 10, 2015, 5:39 PM
Jan. 14, 2015, 2:35 PM
- Barclays downgrades the large-cap E&P sector to Negative from Neutral and the small- and mid-cap E&P group to Negative from Positive, arguing that downside risk outweigh potential gains even if oil prices recover.
- Equity investors are pricing in WTI crude assumptions of close to $75/bbl in 2016 compared to current strip prices of ~$57, Barclays says, also noting that an abundance of relatively cheap oil supply from U.S. producers could further delay a price recovery.
- Among specific names, the firm downgrades CHK, SD, REN and HK to Underweight; DVN, CLR, KOS, MRO, RSPP and WLL are cut to equal weight.
- At the same time, Barclays picked a few favorites, upgrading Range Resources (NYSE:RRC) to Overweight from Equal Weight, and maintained Overweight ratings on large-cap E&P companies CNQ, EOG and NBL; among small- and mid-cap E&P names, the firm favors AR, CXO and XEC.
- ETFs: XOP, IEO, PXE
Jan. 13, 2015, 12:28 PM
- Canadian Natural Resources' (CNQ +1.1%) pledge to keep spending on expanding output at its biggest oil sands mine regardless of the price of crude shows that Canadian oil sands operators are intent on maintaining their production thanks to huge upfront costs, long-term breakeven points and lengthy production lives, continuing to add to the global oil glut, WSJ reports.
- CNQ said yesterday that it still expects overall output to grow beyond 2014 levels, and that it will continue expanding production because it expects higher volume will cut operating expenses at its Horizon mine - currently C$37.13/bbl - by at least another C$10/bbl.
- Existing oil sands surface mines can make money at ~$30/bbl, and the most efficient underground oil sands projects run by Cenovus Energy (CVE -1%) can stay profitable at $35/bbl, according to the report.
- Suncor (SU +1.9%) CEO Steve Williams said in November that his company’s strong balance sheet would allow it to ride out the turbulence and stick with a bullish growth strategy.
Jan. 12, 2015, 7:48 AM
- Canadian Natural Resources (NYSE:CNQ) says it is cutting its FY 2015 capital spending plan and production forecast, citing slumping crude oil prices.
- CNQ now plans to spend C$6.2B ($5.25B) in 2015, 28% lower than its November forecast of C$8.6B, while increasing production of crude oil and natural gas liquids by ~7% over 2014 to 840K-887K boe/day, down from an earlier projection of 11% growth and 869K-916K boe/day.
- CNQ says the lower budget will impact its drilling activity in North America and overseas, and will result in delaying C$470M in capex related to the Kirby North Phase 1 thermal in situ project in Alberta until oil prices stabilize.
Dec. 23, 2014, 3:45 PM
- Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ +2%) says it has stopped pumping steam into a well at its Wolf Lake facility in Alberta when oil products started leaking into an aquifer.
- CNQ first reported a casing break in one of the thermal wells at Wolf Lake on Oct. 29, which is when the company stopped steaming at the site; the Alberta Energy Regulator says the incident did not meet its posting criteria at the time because it did not impact a water body.
- Neither the company nor the regulator knows how much benzene had leaked into the underground aquifer, which alternates between pumping steam into the earth and pumping bitumen out of it.
Dec. 9, 2014, 5:25 PM
- Canada will not impose new carbon emission rules on its oil and gas sector in a time of falling oil prices, Prime Minister Harper tells the House of Commons as international talks begin in Peru to reach a new global agreement on curbing greenhouse gas emissions.
- Canada’s critical energy sector has been slammed by the recent collapse of world oil prices, and a number of Canadian producers recently have announced plans to cut spending and dividends.
- Harper’s government, which counts the resource-rich western provinces as its core political base, had said it was prepared to work with the U.S. on environmental rules covering the continental oil and gas sector.
- Among Canada's top energy firms: SU, ENB, EEP, EEQ, TRP, IMO, CNQ, TCK, CVE, BTE, OTCQX:COSWF, OTCQB:HUSKF
Dec. 8, 2014, 3:37 PM
- Energy stocks are hammered again as oil prices tumble to fresh five-year lows, and Oasis Petroleum (OAS -16.1%), Emerald Oil (EOX -12.7%), Cobalt International Energy (CIE -10.1%) and Canadian Natural Resource (CNQ -4.8%) are slammed more than most as they suffered analyst downgrades today.
- SunTrust's Ryan Otaman cuts OAS and EOX to Neutral from Buy to account for their large debt loads, while Citi's Robert Morris lowers CIE and CNQ to Neutral from Buy.
- However, Morris thinks at least some stocks warrant upgrades after precipitous declines, raising Antero Resources (AR -9.1%), Apache (APA -6.1%) and Newfield Exploration (NFX -8.3%) even while acknowledging they probably will not bottom until oil does - a common view among analysts such as Raymond James' Marshall Adkins, who writes that "trying to figure out appropriate oilfield service valuations under a collapsing oil price environments is an exercise in futility."
Dec. 3, 2014, 11:32 AM
- The energy sector (XLE +1.5%) continues its momentum from yesterday, leading the way again as the best performing sector in early trading with crude oil rising 1.2% so far today and reports that U.S. well permits fell 40% last month.
- Top performers include Clayton Williams (CWEI +7.7%), Transocean Partners (RIGP +10.6%), Gaslog (GLOG +13.8%) and Energy XXI (EXXI +15.7%).
- Other leading energy names are showing stronger recoveries as they clear last Friday's bearish gap zone: XOM +0.2%, CVX +0.4%, COP +2.5%, OXY +2.5%, DVN +2.9%, EOG +2.5%, HES +2.2%, MUR +1.5%, NBL +2.3%, PXD +4.2%, SU +3%, CNQ +1.9%.
- Some analysts warn that the worst may not be over, however, as much of the advance is being driven by investors repurchasing ETFs they used to make short bets; investors also could opt to sell oil shares at a loss in coming weeks to reduce tax burdens.
Dec. 1, 2014, 10:11 AM
- Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ -0.9%) Chairman Murray Edwards predicted Friday that oil prices could collapse to US$30/bbl before stabilizing at $70-$75.
- Edwards says industry projects that are already underway, particularly oil sands projects with a long-term horizon and capital already invested, likely will continue, but others will be shelved until there is more clarity around future oil prices; Edwards also sees a slowdown in conventional oil projects, especially those that tend to produce a lot at the front end.
- He expects efforts to build new pipelines such as Keystone XL (TRP +0.6%) and Energy East (ENB +0.8%) to continue because they represent a 30-50 year opportunity for Canada.
- Brace for such “apocalyptically low” oil calls now, Jason Zweig writes: “Watch for the last optimists to be swept away by pessimism - at which point it will be an opportune time to add to your energy stocks or MLPs... We’re probably not there yet."
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