Tue, Jan. 27, 5:25 PM
- Commodities trader Vitol and Italian energy company Eni (NYSE:E) receive final approval from Ghana's government to develop a $7B offshore oil and gas project, in the largest project backed by foreign investment in the country since gaining independence in the 1950s.
- The Offshore Cap Three Point project would produce 15 years worth of gas for Ghana’s domestic power stations as well as crude oil for sale on international markets.
- Vitol and Eni expect oil to start flowing from the project’s five fields in 2017, with gas production expected to start a year later.
- The decision to go ahead with the project comes as many oil and gas companies are looking to cut costs and reduce spending on big developments because of sharply lower oil prices.
Fri, Jan. 23, 2:58 PM
- As investors come to terms with the ~20% drop in shares of European oil company shares since last June, their focus will now turn to how the companies will maintain cherished dividends while coping with the collapse in oil prices.
- So far there is no hint of any major oil companies scaling back their dividend payouts, which long have been the key attraction for investors; BP's Bob Dudley says the dividend is "rock solid," and CEOs at Total (NYSE:TOT) and Eni (NYSE:E) also recently said they would maintain dividends.
- Analysts at Nomura and Barclays foresee an average 7% Y/Y decline in 2015 spending for the European oil majors, but with a large part of this year's project spending already committed, borrowing is inevitable to keep up dividend payouts.
- Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) is seen by several analysts as best able to cope in the current environment, as its refining segment benefits the most from lower crude prices; Barclays expects Shell's Q4 EPS to rise by 29% Y/Y.
Fri, Jan. 23, 11:52 AM
- Eni (E -2.2%) expects to cut costs this year by 10%-15% while postponing investments in its most costly projects, Chairwoman Emma Marcegaglia tells WSJ.
- The company has managed to obtain better terms - discounts of as much as 30% vs. the recent past - on new contracts with its contractors and the governments in the countries where it operates, Marcegaglia also says.
Wed, Jan. 21, 5:58 PM
- BP boss Bob Dudley says oil prices probably will remain low for at least a year and perhaps for as many as three years, and the company must plan for that possibility.
- BP's two large projects in the North Sea, including the Clair field, "are challenged now with these new prices... but we're in the North Sea for the long term," the CEO says in a BBC interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
- Globally, BP and the rest of the energy industry likely would see "significant workforce reductions," Dudley adds.
- At the same venue, Eni (NYSE:E) CEO Claudio Descalzi predicts the oil industry would cut capital spending by 10%-13% this year because of slumping prices, which should create longer-term shortages and sharp price rises in 4-5 years.
Thu, Jan. 15, 8:39 AM| Comment!
Fri, Jan. 9, 8:38 AM
- Eni (NYSE:E) says it has signed an agreement to operate a new exploration block in the western desert of Egypt, strengthening its position in the country where it has held sway since 1954 with an equity production of ~210K boe/day.
- The agreement as the government settles debt owed to energy companies with a legacy of operations in the country.
Thu, Jan. 8, 12:06 PM
- Big oil companies including Exxon (NYSE:XOM), Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) and BP soon must decide whether to risk upsetting investors by cutting dividends, risk earnings by cutting projects, or take on more debt in the hope that oil prices will soon recover, according to a WSJ report.
- A Citi analysis shows spending on dividends and capital investment was 24% higher than cash flow in 2013; Shell, for example, had $40B in net cash flow in 2013 but its capital spending and dividend payments outstripped cash flow by 36%, while XOM's shareholder payouts and investment are seen exceeding cash flow by 22% in 2015.
- Estimated capex and dividends also are expected to exceed cash flow by 20% or more this year at ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP), Chevron (NYSE:CVX), Eni (NYSE:E), Total (NYSE:TOT) and BG Group (OTCPK:BRGXF, OTCQX:BRGYY).
Thu, Jan. 8, 9:14 AM
- DryShips (NASDAQ:DRYS) +3.9% premarket on news that its Ocean Rig UDW (NASDAQ:ORIG) subsidiary has secured a contract extension for one of its drillships with Eni (NYSE:E) and gains work for possibly another two units.
- As part of the contract extension for the Ocean Rig Poseidon, ORIG will adjust the existing dayrate of the Ocean Rig Poseidon contract and Eni will enter into two contracts for the employment of one or more of ORIG's available drillships in West Africa starting in Q1.
- DRYS says the agreement increases ORIG's total contract backlog by ~$187M.
Mon, Jan. 5, 2:44 PM
- Chevron (CVX -3.8%) is downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup after outperforming big oil peers in the past three months in a reflection of the resilience of CVX's balance sheet.
- Citi revises its earnings forecasts to reflect lower oil prices, and says the stock now offers little upside in absolute and relative terms, "certainly when balanced against a portfolio that still carries uncertainties around both execution and reinvestment."
- The firm also downgrades Eni (E -8.6%) and Repsol (OTCQX:REPYY -5.8%), whose business models and valuations will look more challenged in a lower oil environment, but prefers companies it says boast strong growth credentials, such as BG (OTCPK:BRGXF), Total (NYSE:TOT) and ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP); it keeps Exxon (XOM -2.6%) at Neutral, thinking share buybacks likely will be dialed down to preserve the balance sheet for a prolonged period of lower prices or eventual acquisitions.
Mon, Jan. 5, 12:39 PM
- ConocoPhillips (COP -4.8%) says it is flowing its first barrels of oil from the Eldfisk II project in the Norwegian North Sea, in the company’s second big startup off the coast of Norway since late 2013.
- COP says its newly productive project, alongside its other Norwegian offshore wells, will boost its output by 60K boe/day by 2017, and plans to drill 40 new water-injection and oil wells at its Norwegian field over the next three years.
- The Eldfisk field is one of four offshore oil regions that make up Norway’s Greater Ekofisk Area, operated by COP and co-owned with Total (NYSE:TOT), Eni (NYSE:E), Statoil (NYSE:STO) and others.
Mon, Jan. 5, 9:10 AM
Dec. 22, 2014, 3:23 PM
- S&P revises its outlook to negative for BP, Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) and Total (NYSE:TOT), as it cites “the dramatic deterioration in the oil price outlook” in forecasting still more negative free cash flow in 2015 extending possibly into 2016, given fairly inflexible capital expenditure and high dividends.
- S&P says debt and dividends for Europe's oil majors have increased 50%, leaving them less flexibility in dealing with a cash crunch; BP has an indicated dividend yield of 6.85%, followed by 5.7% for TOT and 5.25% for Shell.
- S&P also says it may cut the ratings on Eni (NYSE:E) and BG Group (OTCPK:BRGXF, OTCQX:BRGYY).
Dec. 19, 2014, 11:55 AM
- Another casualty of oil’s collapse: The Italian government's plans to make a dent in the country's national debt by selling ~4.5% of oil and gas company Eni (E +0.7%) and Italian utility Enel (OTCPK:ENLAY).
- The government has never officially taken the sale off the table, but with Brent crude down by half since June and Eni shares about a third lower, the sale has become unlikely, at least in the short term.
- The sale of part of the government’s 30% holding in Eni was considered a key part of a program to raise ~€11B from privatizations this year and in each of the next two years in a bid to reduce Italy’s national debt, the EU's second highest based on a percentage of GDP.
Dec. 19, 2014, 8:29 AM
- FMC Technologies (NYSE:FTI) wins an order from Eni (NYSE:E) to supply subsea production systems for the Italian company's deepwater Block 15/06 East Hub development off Angola.
- The order has an estimated value of $393M in revenue.
- Earlier this week, FTI received an order worth $268M from Chevron to provide susbea equipment for the Agbami field off Nigeria.
Dec. 17, 2014, 5:40 PM
Dec. 4, 2014, 6:17 PM
- Saipem (OTCPK:SAPMY) says it has received notice to suspend marine activities for Gazprom's (OTCPK:OGZPY) South Stream pipeline project, which Russia scrapped earlier this week amid opposition from the European Union; at the time, Saipem said it had not been notified of the project’s cancellation.
- Saipem could lose as much as €1.25B ($1.55B) in revenue next year without South Stream, CEO Umberto Vergine says.
- Eni (NYSE:E) owns 43% of Saipem and has a 20% stake in South Stream.
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