Wed, Feb. 25, 4:42 PM| 1 Comment
Tue, Feb. 24, 12:43 PM
- Israel's competition regulator has delayed a decision on whether to declare the country's natural gas fields a monopoly for two months to allow time for an agreed solution to be reached.
- Noble Energy (NBL +1.7%) and Israel's Delek Group (OTCPK:DGRLY) own 85% of the Leviathan gas field off the Mediterranean coast, and also control the nearby Tamar well, a situation Israel's antitrust commissioner said in December created a monopoly.
- Leviathan is one of the world's largest offshore gas finds to be made in the last decade, with an estimated 22T cf of reserves; production had been expected to begin in 2018 following an initial development investment of ~$6.5B.
Thu, Feb. 19, 3:40 PM
- Noble Energy (NBL -2.1%) says its disputes with Israel’s antitrust regulators has forced it to stall virtually all of its investments this year in two massive offshore natural gas fields in the Mediterranean Sea.
- In today's earnings call, CEO David Stover called Israel's antitrust decision an example of the uncertain regulatory environment in the country and said the two sides must come to an agreement before NBL could invest significantly in Israel’s energy sector.
- The two offshore gas fields, the Leviathan and the Tamar, hold the vast majority of Israel’s gas reserves, with more than enough to feed domestic demand, bring down electricity costs in the nation and have more gas for exports; NBL and Delek Group (OTCPK:DGRLY) own the majority of both fields.
- Stover said NBL had signed a letter of intent with a customer in Egypt to supply up to 250M cf/day of gas from Tamar, but it has not booked any of the sales because of the impasse with Israel’s government.
Thu, Feb. 19, 8:26 AM
- Noble Energy (NYSE:NBL) plans a 40% reduction in capital spending for 2015 to $2.9B, in the latest example of an energy company that has slashed its spending plans in the wake of sharply lower oil prices.
- At the same time, NBL forecasts total 2015 sales volumes of 295K-315K boe, representing 5% growth at the midpoint of the range, after adjusting for assets divested in 2014.
- The capital program comprises 60% toward core U.S. onshore assets, 35% for global offshore development activities and 5% for global offshore exploration.
- In NBL's Q4 earnings results, the sharp drop in oil prices cut into revenue and offset higher sales volumes; estimated reserves at year-end 2014 were 1.4B boe.
Thu, Feb. 19, 7:31 AM
Wed, Feb. 18, 5:30 PM| 7 Comments
Tue, Feb. 17, 8:39 AM
- Noble Energy (NYSE:NBL) agrees to supply Egypt with seven liquefied natural gas cargoes under a two-year deal that begins in April.
- Once a gas exporter, Egypt is undergoing its worst energy crisis in decades, with rising consumption and declining production turning it into an energy importer.
- Egypt recently signed a deal with Algeria's state-owned Sonatrach to import six LNG shipments during 2015, and expects to complete an agreement with Russia’s Gazprom to import another seven LNG shipments.
Fri, Feb. 13, 6:22 PM
- Deutsche Bank analysts think Noble Energy (NYSE:NBL) might be able to reach an agreement with Israel about offshore drilling before that country’s elections in March, which could raise shares as high as $56.
- The firm says its discussions with colleagues in country point to an apparent desire to find a compromise ahead of the Israeli elections; if correct, this would be the first good news in some time for NBL stock and could help improve sentiment, particularly around the longer term secular growth story of NBL's unique asset.
Tue, Feb. 10, 6:47 PM
- Figuring the debt markets are a bit more rational than the equity markets right now, Wunderlich analysts look to the bond market for some clues about energy investing.
- The firm finds that where Chesapeake Energy's (NYSE:CHK) debt is trading now as "quite refreshing" given the strong balance sheet the company has built, strengthening its conviction that CHK is a Best idea among oil stocks; others holding up well, it says, are financially strong names such as XEC, CXO, EGN, EOG, GPOR, MTZ, NBL, PTEN, PDCE, PXD and ROSE.
- In other cases, the debt is providing “equity-like returns” for investors who want to move out of stocks and into bonds, with the firm mentioning AREX, BBG, CWEI and NOG.
Tue, Feb. 3, 8:59 AM
- Israel's energy minister reiterates that natural gas companies operating offshore will need to sell some of their reserves to avoid being deemed a monopoly, reinforcing a stance against control of the assets by Noble Energy (NYSE:NBL) and Delek Group (OTCPK:DGRLY).
- The comments were the most explicit since Israel's antitrust authority said in December the U.S.-Israeli partners who discovered two large natural gas fields in the eastern Mediterranean may constitute a monopoly.
- The minister says the government is working to find a balance between increasing competition and making it worthwhile for companies to ensure the offshore Tamar and Leviathan fields are developed.
Mon, Feb. 2, 10:42 AM
- Noble Energy (NBL +2.1%) execs are in Egypt for talks with the state gas company about importing Israeli gas to the energy-starved country, Reuters reports.
- Gas shipments could come from Israel's offshore Tamar gas field, which NBL operates, and whose partners have floated plans to connect the field with Egypt's Damietta liquefied natural gas plant, according to the report.
- Reuters cites an unnamed oil ministry source as saying Sunday's talks concerned the technical procedures for bringing natural gas from Israeli fields into Egypt.
Wed, Jan. 28, 8:59 AM
- Noble Energy (NYSE:NBL) and the Cyprus government are discussing the potential exploitation of the 4.5T cf Aphrodite gas field discovered in 2011, the country's energy minister says.
- Delek Drilling and Avner Oil each own 15% of Aphrodite, with NBL controlling the rest; Aphrodite is adjacent to the much larger Leviathan field in Israeli waters in which the three companies also hold a concession.
- The minister also says discussions had almost concluded with Total (NYSE:TOT) on modifying an existing exploration permit after initial results showed no tangible reserves in an area where it was licensed.
Tue, Jan. 27, 2:06 PM
Fri, Jan. 23, 9:45 AM
- Exxon Mobil (XOM -1.3%) opens lower after Credit Suisse downgrades shares to Underperform from Neutral and cuts its stock price target to $82 from $90, writing that major oil companies are entering a period of "less production, more debt and lower upstream cash margins than they were projected to earn six months ago."
- The firm lowers its 2015 EPS estimates for XOM to $2.82 from $5.04, and its 2016 EPS estimates to $5.42 from $6.27.
- Credit Suisse also downgrades several other major oil names, including Chevron (CVX -1.2%), Hess (HES -1.3%), Noble Energy (NBL -1.2%) and Murphy Oil (MUR -1%).
Wed, Jan. 14, 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
Tue, Jan. 13, 6:55 PM
- MarketWatch's Philip Van Doorn spotlights U.S. drillers and oilfield services companies with efficiency advantages that could help them weather the bear market in crude oil.
- A key step in the fracking process to extract oil from shale is pumping proppant into a well to open cracks from which oil and gas can flow, but the cost of proppant varies widely; companies with the lowest proppant cost will have the best shot of turning a profit from shale extraction operations during a prolonged period of low oil prices, Van Doorn writes.
- The Rockies formation is considered the most efficient, with a proppant cost of $8.88/bbl during the first 90 days of production; 54% of WPX Energy’s (NYSE:WPX) non-conventional oil wells are in the Rockies.
- 83% of Noble Energy’s (NYSE:NBL) non-conventional wells are located in the Niobrara formation, which has a low proppant cost of $15.41/bbl.
- Overall, Hess (NYSE:HES) is calculated to boast the best proppant efficiency, with an average cost of $3.58/bbl for the first 90 days of production, followed by BHP Billiton (NYSE:BHP) with an average cost or $9.14, and Whiting Petroleum (NYSE:WLL) with an average proppant cost of $11.08/bbl.
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