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.
Tue, Jan. 13, 3:23 PM
- J.P. Morgan's Joseph Allman is “mildly bullish” on oil and gas E&P companies in 2015, as short-term nervousness about the oil market’s oversupply is outweighed by the benefits of low oil prices, declining service costs and a more balanced oil market.
- Allman’s favorite picks among big-cap names are EOG, APC and NBL, among mid-caps are XEC and PXD, plus PDCE in the small-cap space; his least favorite stocks are APA, AREX, GDP and JONE.
- Among majors, JPM analysts Phil Gresh and John Royall initiate SunCor (NYSE:SU) at Overweight, citing "top tier sustainable dividend coverage and leverage, with some underlying growth potential"; the pair also downgrade Cenovus (NYSE:CVE) to Neutral, tags ConocoPhillips with an Underweight rating, and are neutral on Exxon (NYSE:XOM) and Chevron (NYSE:CVX).
- Earlier: Valero Energy upgraded, Marathon Petroleum downgraded at J.P. Morgan
- ETFs: XLE, ERX, VDE, OIH, XOP, ERY, DIG, DUG, IYE, IEO, PXE, FENY, PXJ, RYE, FXN, DDG
Mon, Jan. 5, 8:32 AM
- Jordan reportedly has halted talks to import natural gas from Israel from Noble Energy (NYSE:NBL) and will sign an agreement with BG Group (OTCPK:BRGXF, OTCQX:BRGYY) to buy Gaza Strip gas.
- Jordan stopped negotiations after Israel’s antitrust regulator said he was reconsidering a decision to let a group led by NBL develop the country’s two biggest natural gas fields, according to a Jordanian legislator, who said "we cannot proceed with talks until we know which side will develop the gas field in Israel."
Fri, Jan. 2, 10:35 AM
- Noble Energy (NBL -2.6%) reportedly is suspending negotiations with Israel Shipyards until the future of the natural gas industry in Israel becomes clear; the negotiations are for a seven-year extension of the lease for the base of NBL's marine activity.
- Israel's antitrust regulator last week ruled that the Tamar and Leviathan fields in which the NBL-led partnership holds respective 85% and 67% stakes comprise a natural gas monopoly and that the partners must sell one or the other, reversing an earlier decision that the partnership could keep both fields providing they sell two smaller gas prospects.
Dec. 23, 2014, 5:07 PM
- Noble Energy (NYSE:NBL) tumbled 3.8% today after Israel’s antitrust regulator threatened to break the NBL-led consortium's hold on the country’s gas resources.
- NBL and its partners are requesting a hearing after the antitrust authority said it would not agree to final approval on the drilling plan for the Leviathan field, one of the largest gas fields to have been found in recent years.
- The group has reached preliminary deals to export substantial quantities of Leviathan gas to Jordan and to liquefied natural gas facilities in Egypt.
- A move by the regulator to break up the consortium likely would lead to further delays on Leviathan, which already has proved difficult to develop.
Dec. 23, 2014, 7:50 AM
- Noble Energy (NYSE:NBL) and Delek Group (OTCQX:DGRLY) could lose part of their combined 85% ownership of Israel's giant Leviathan natural gas field, as the country's antitrust regulator considers allowing other companies to hold stakes in the field.
- Reopening the agreement would “cause regulatory uncertainty and seriously delay the development of the Leviathan field,” an Israeli analyst says.
- The Israeli firms involved in the project, including Delek, Avner Oil (OTCPK:AVOGF) and Ratio Oil (OTC:RTEXF), all dropped sharply on the Tel Aviv exchange.
- The Leviathan gas field was discovered off Israel’s Mediterranean coast in 2010, a year after the smaller Tamar site was found; together, they hold ~29T cf of gas.
Dec. 22, 2014, 10:45 AM
- Natural gas prices fall 9.5% to near two-year lows at $3.133/mmBtu, in the biggest one-day percentage loss since February and the lowest intraday price since January 2013, on mild weather forecasts and inventory that is above year-ago levels.
- Prices are now down more than 15% in three straight losing sessions and are 30% lower than the six-month high closing price of $4.489/mmBtu it hit just a month ago.
- Weather has been unseasonably warm for December, limiting demand for home heating and allowing relatively low stockpiles to catch up to where they were a year ago and encouraging traders to sell based on the belief that supply is relatively healthy.
- Gas producers are among the biggest early decliners: XOM -1.1%, CHK -7.3%, APC -2.6%, SWN -6%, DVN -2.2%, COP -2.3%, BP -1.5%, COG -4%, BHP -1.9%, CVX -1.3%, ECA -5.1%, EQT -4.3%, RDS.A -1.7%, UPL -12%, WPX -6.9%, EOG -1%, OXY -1.1%, RRC -6.1%, APA -2.3%, AR -3.2%, CNX -3%, QEP -4.8%, LINE -4.9%, NBL -1.6%, SM -2.6%, XEC -4.2%, PXD -2.9%, NFX -5.1%.
- ETFs: UNG, DGAZ, UGAZ, BOIL, GAZ, FCG, GASL, KOLD, UNL, NAGS, DCNG
Dec. 17, 2014, 12:26 PM
- FBR Capital chooses Noble Energy (NBL +8.8%), Schlumberger (SLB +4.6%), Synergy Resources (SYRG +6%), Consol Energy (CNX +3.4%) and SunEdison (SUNE +0.7%) as its top energy and natural resources stocks for 2015.
- FBR likes NBL's strong combination of shale assets that are still immature in their adoption and application of technology, which is scalable; a strong balance sheet; and a portfolio that offers abundant exploration risk/reward potential.
- SLB is FBR's favorite energy stock among those whose secular earnings power is clearly the most likely to significantly expand over the next five years and/or is underestimated at current market multiples.
- SYRG offers investors exposure to industry-leading production growth and a solid balance sheet, a unique combination for a small-cap equity, the firm says.
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