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Oct. 8, 2015, 8:26 AM
- Statoil (NYSE:STO) -2% premarket after reporting an oil spill near its Statfjord A platform in the North Sea that has halted crude loading operations.
- Statfjord is one of the oldest producing fields on the Norwegian continental shelf, and the largest oil discovery in the North Sea; the field's oil is loaded onto tankers and shipped to ports in northwestern Europe.
- STO says it is too early to determine how much oil had leaked.
Oct. 7, 2015, 4:59 PM
- Investors should stick with big oil companies such as Total (NYSE:TOT), ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) and Statoil (NYSE:STO) who have the most room for self-help, Citigroup analysts say.
- The firm believes the messaging in Q3 results could prove more important for equity performance than the numbers themselves, and managements need to be seen to be responding to current low return on equity and other factors such as recent debt downgrades; bigger cuts to costs and capital seem inevitable as the oil and gas industry looks to deepen its commitment to repair.
- Citi cites TOT as an industry-leader on a self-help agenda, and at its recent strategic update set a benchmark for what the industry needs to achieve; the firm says it continues to see value in "self-help winners" TOT, STO and COP, while also recommending BG Group (OTCQX:BRGXF, OTCQX:BRGYY) as a cheaper way into Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B).
Oct. 7, 2015, 2:37 PM
- Petrobras (PBR +3.1%) sits out an oil licensing round in Brazil for the first time, as it struggles to reduce its enormous debt load.
- Brazil’s National Petroluem Agency sold only 37 of the 266 onshore and offshore blocks offered in the worst turnout at a Brazil auction in years, and global oil majors who operate in Brazil including Statoil (NYSE:STO), Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) and Total (NYSE:TOT) did not submit any bids.
- The country faces many of the same struggles that hindered two oil auctions earlier this year in Mexico: slumping crude oil prices, and companies are cutting investments.
- "Petrobras isn’t participating.. [it] is afraid about new troubles and expenses," an oil consultant and former employee at the company tells Bloomberg.
Oct. 6, 2015, 5:22 PM
- Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman's LetterOne fund is in advanced talks to acquire German utility E.ON's (OTCQX:EONGY) Norwegian North Sea assets for more than $1B, Financial Times reports.
- The potential deal would signal a renewed push by the Russian oligarch to expand his P-E fund's oil and gas portfolio after being forced to sell his British North Sea assets because of U.S. and European sanctions.
- E.ON owns a 28% stake in the BP-operated Skarv field, which is expected to reach peak output of 165K boe/day, as well as 30% and 17.5% stakes in two Statoil-operated (NYSE:STO) fields.
- LetterOne, whose energy fund is run by former BP CEO John Browne, recently asked the U.K. to delay an October deadline to sell its North Sea assets after a first round of offers came in well short of expectations.
Oct. 5, 2015, 5:34 PM
- Standard & Poor's says it has taken rating actions on 14 European oil and gas E&P companies, mostly reflecting weak debt coverage measures and sometimes material negative discretionary cash flow after capex and dividends.
- S&P downgrades Tullow Oil (OTCPK:TUWLF, OTCPK:TUWOY) to B+ from BB- and EnQuest (OTC:ENQUF) to B from B+, with a negative outlook for both companies.
- The ratings agency lowered outlooks for BP, Eni (NYSE:E), Repsol (OTCQX:REPYF,OTCQX:REPYY) and Statoil (NYSE:STO) to negative.
- Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) and Total (NYSE:TOT) are affirmed with AA-/A-1+ corporate credit ratings and negative outlooks.
Sep. 29, 2015, 2:50 PM
- Statoil (STO +2.4%) says it laid the final piece of its Polarled pipeline connecting the Aasta Hansteen natural gas field in the Norwegian Sea to processing facilities and terminals on Norway's coast.
- Aasta Hansteen is estimated to hold 175B-300B cf of recoverable natural gas, making it one of the largest fields in the region; once it starts, an onshore processing terminal will be ready to receive natural gas through Polarled by 2017.
- STO says Polarled was built 32% under budget for at an investment of ~$875M; the new pipeline stretches ~300 miles and can transport up to 2.4B cf/day of gas.
Sep. 28, 2015, 8:49 AM
- BG Group (OTCPK:BRGXF, OTCQX:BRGYY) agrees to acquire stakes in three exploration blocks off the coast of Newfoundland from Repsol (OTCPK:REPYF, OTCQX:REPYY); no financial terms are disclosed.
- BG says the deal provides access to early stage exploration in a proven prospective basin ahead of the first well being drilled later this year.
- The three blocks are operated by Statoil (NYSE:STO).
Sep. 25, 2015, 9:59 AM
- Estimated capex for the first development phase of the giant Johan Sverdrup field project off Norway has been cut by NOK9B (~$1B) to NOK114B ($13.7B) due to lower contractor prices, according to a partner of lead developer Statoil (STO +1.1%).
- The first phase of operations is expected to yield as much as 380K bbl/day of oil, roughly half of the expected peak production rate; when in full swing, the huge field should account for up to 25% of all Norwegian petroleum production.
- First oil from Sverdrup is expected by late 2019.
Sep. 18, 2015, 11:58 AM
- Major oil companies including Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) and Statoil (NYSE:STO), as well as price publisher Platts, have been told by regulators to redact business secrets from documents obtained during antitrust raids, in a sign the European Union may be moving ahead with a two-year-old investigation, Bloomberg reports.
- The redaction request could be a precursor to the European Commission sending a formal complaint to some of the companies, according to the report.
- EU antitrust officials raided Shell, Statoil and Platts alongside BP and Abengoa (NASDAQ:ABGB) in 2013, warning of damage to consumers if fuel price manipulation was confirmed, but the probe has since continued in near silence.
Sep. 18, 2015, 9:47 AM
- BP (BP -2.3%) is expected to continue as operator of the ACG oil field complex after the current production-sharing deal expires, according to Azerbaijan state oil company Socar.
- The comments signal a thawing in BP’s relations with the Azeri government, after the president three years ago blamed an unexpected decline in oil output from the ACG fields on “grave mistakes” by BP.
- BP gets ~5% of its oil output from Azerbaijan; others in the ACG development group include Chevron (CVX -2.6%), Exxon (XOM -2.7%) and Statoil (STO -2.4%).
Sep. 17, 2015, 1:14 PM
- Statoil (STO -0.1%) says it has brought online the world’s first subsea gas compression facility at its Aasgard field in the Norwegian Sea, which it expects will add 306M boe over the life of the field.
- The NOK 19B ($2.34B) Aasgard subsea plant is on the ocean floor in 300 meters of water close to the wellhead, and the company considers the move a major technological leap that paves the way for full processing and production on the seabed.
- Alongside Aasgard, STO also is developing the Gullfaks subsea wet gas compressor facility, a smaller facility but also a first, as it will not require separation.
Sep. 16, 2015, 12:59 PM
- Integrated oil companies will see a huge collective negative cash flow position this year and next, with capex set to be cut further as oil prices struggle to a minimal increase in 2016, according to a Moody's forecast.
- Despite cost cuts, Moody’s still expects the industry to face a 20% contraction in 2015 free cash flows to a negative position of nearly $80B in 2015, as the ratings agency’s outlook for the global integrated oil and gas industry remains negative into next year.
- Moody’s expects the industry’s total debt load will increase, with cash balances declining as companies sell assets to cover dividends and capital spending, although most companies have resisted dividend cuts so far.
- Relevant tickers: XOM, CVX, BP, RDS.A, RDS.B, TOT, STO
Sep. 16, 2015, 10:24 AM
- ABB (ABB +0.8%) wins an order worth around $90M from Statoil (STO +3.7%) for a high-voltage cable system to provide power from shore to the Johan Sverdrup offshore oil field.
- At around 200 kilometers in length, it will be the longest extruded submarine cable system to an offshore oil and gas platform facility in the world.
Sep. 5, 2015, 8:25 AM
- ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) says it could support a United Nations climate change agreement if it met its own policy principles, including creating a "level playing field" among energy sources and between countries, and avoiding technology mandates.
- COP's partial endorsement comes as pressure grows on U.S. oil majors to join European peers including Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B), BP, Total (NYSE:TOT) and Statoil (NYSE:STO) who backed UN climate negotiations and a global carbon pricing system to reduce carbon emissions.
- COP and U.S. peers such as Exxon (NYSE:XOM) and Chevron (NYSE:CVX) face competing demands from green and investor activist groups as well as industry lobby groups worried that a UN deal will call for a total phase-out of fossil fuels.
Sep. 2, 2015, 3:58 PM
- Statoil (STO +1.5%) is higher after Bloomberg reports that Malaysian state-owned energy company Petronas is interested in acquiring its stake in the Trans Atlantic gas pipeline that runs from the Caspian basin to Europe.
- STO owns a 20% stake in the project but is executing a capital spending reduction plan amid falling global oil prices as it looks to raise returns for shareholders.
Sep. 1, 2015, 3:58 PM
- Citigroup's energy analysts defend their bullish take on big oil stocks such as ConocoPhillips (COP -2.6%), Total (TOT -2.1%) and Statoil (STO -4.5%), pointing to 30-year valuation lows, upside asymmetric risk on oil prices and signs that managements are doing enough to turn the corner on better capital allocation and cost-cutting.
- Favoring COP, TOT and STO, the firm says its sector investment criteria are (1) growth - companies that have near-term growth are less reliant on simply cutting costs; (2) better capital allocation - combined with growth, it should deliver 2-3x the ROE uplift than cost-cutting can; and (3) a strong enough balance sheet to manage the early part of the cycle.
- Citi is staying away from Exxon Mobil (XOM -4%) because of its valuation premium to peers and low growth and from Chevron (CVX -3.2%) due to its slow response in a lower commodity world.
Statoil ASA is an integrated oil and gas company. It explores, produces, transports, refines, and markets petroleum and petroleum-derived products. It has operations in Norway, rest of Europe, North America, Africa, Asia and South America.
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