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Statoil ASA (STO)

  • Mon, May 18, 11:49 AM
    • Goldman Sachs says its “lower for longer” oil price forecast would put significant pressure on integrated oil and gas companies such as BP (BP -0.8%)and Statoil (STO -2.7%), prompting the firm to downgrade its sector outlook to Cautious from Neutral and both energy giants to Sell from Neutral, citing long-term dividend risk for BP and cash-flow pressure on STO.
    • The firm also downgrades Chevron (CVX -1%) to Sell from Neutral with a $99 price target, down from $111, saying CVX is burning through free cash flow, which should limit dividend growth in the coming quarters, and pointing risk to 2017 production guidance.
  • Thu, Apr. 30, 7:49 AM
    • Statoil (NYSE:STO) +2.2% premarket after swinging to a surprise Q1 loss on a writedown in the value of its U.S. shale business but maintaining its dividend.
    • STO wrote down the value of its assets by 46.1B kroner ($6.11B) in the quarter, with U.S. unconventional assets in the Bakken, Eagle Ford and Marcellus taking a 30.5B kroner hit and the remaining from international conventional assets, mainly in the Gulf of Mexico.
    • But the results were "robust... in the context of quite low expectations," Jefferies analysts say: Q1 adjusted operating profit of 22.9B kroner was ahead of forecasts for 16.4B as STO's exploration and refining businesses both performed better than expected, output beat forecasts and cash flow covered nearly all of its relatively high investment spending.
    • High spending remains a concern as STO plans to invest $18B this year, making the smallest spending cut among any of the majors.
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  • Tue, Apr. 14, 12:21 PM
    • Statoil (STO +3.6%) says it made another gas find near its Aasta Hansteen field in the Norwegian Arctic, further raising the gas resource in one of its biggest ongoing projects.
    • STO says it found 2B-7B cm of gas that, together with a discovery announced earlier this year, increased the field's resource by about a quarter.
    • Separately, the company reportedly plans to cut as many as 2,400 engineers in a new round of redundancies as it tries to cut costs in the face of lower crude prices.
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  • Mon, Mar. 16, 10:17 AM
    • Street chatter says Statoil (STO -2.8%) may be pursuing EOG Resources (EOG +0.5%) in a merger or acquisition that could exceed $50B.
    • Analysts say the deal would make sense for STO, which is seeking to expand its U.S. shale presence; STO also has been mentioned as one of several companies showing interest in Whiting Petroleum (WLL -8%).
    • Color Raymond James analyst Andrew Coleman skeptical, saying that a 25% premium over EOG's recent $85 share price - suggesting an offer near $60B - would be needed just to get a returned phone call.
  • Fri, Mar. 13, 3:58 PM
    • Whiting Petroleum (WLL +3.1%) spikes on a Bloomberg report suggesting Exxon Mobil (XOM -0.2%) could be interested in the company; trading is now halted for volatility.
    • Continental Resources (CLR -4.8%), Hess (HES +0.4%) and Statoil (STO +1.4%) also are reportedly looking at WLL, according to the report, and WLL has set up a data room for potential buyers to evaluate the company’s financial information and asked them to submit bids next week.
    • WLL is the largest producer in North Dakota’s Bakken Shale, and the four rumored suitors already are among the 10 largest holders of acreage in the play.
    • WLL had been down all day on an earlier report that it was considering selling off pieces rather than the whole company.
  • Mon, Mar. 9, 3:35 PM
    • Analysts are mostly positive on Whiting Petroleum (WLL +10.8%) after WSJ's report that the company is looking to sell itself, particularly seeking out Statoil (STO -1.7%) to make a bid.
    • WLL is a prime takeover candidate, given its attempt to sell itself in 2012, BofA Merrill says as it maintains its Buy rating and $45 price target, adding that the scale of WLL's assets has increased significantly because of its Kodiak acquisition and could attract large energy companies with strong balance sheets such as Exxon (NYSE:XOM), Chevron (NYSE:CVX) and Hess (NYSE:HES).
    • WLL could get a strong price because of its rich assets in the Bakken Shale; on the other hand, investors have become particularly concerned about E&P companies that are heavily focused on a single region, as WLL is in the Bakken.
    • UBS analyst Betty Jiang points out some hurdles to a potential deal, including a wide price differential between buyers and sellers, and potential acquirers' apparent preference for buying land in areas that are cheaper than the Bakken.
  • Mon, Mar. 9, 8:18 AM
    • Whiting Petroleum (NYSE:WLL) +10.2% premarket after WSJ reported Friday night that the company is for sale, citing unidentified sources.
    • Reuters reports that a person familiar with the board's thinking said he was not aware of any such plan.
    • Bloomberg reports that WLL has hired a bank to pursue a possible sale and has reached out to potential buyers including Statoil (NYSE:STO).
  • Fri, Feb. 13, 8:27 AM
    • Statoil (NYSE:STO) +3.5% premarket on news it will move forward with plans to develop the giant Johna Sverdup oil field in the North Sea, which is expected to produce up to 3B boe over 50 years and give Norway's fading oil industry a second life.
    • Sverdrup's first phase is expected to cost $15.4B, at the top end of the previous estimate range but only marginally ahead of analyst expectations; STO plans to start production by 2019.
    • The project is expected to break even at under $40/bbl, with operating costs seen at below $5/bbl once the project is up and running.
    • STO's partners in the project failed to agree on ownership stakes and are asking the Norwegian government to divide the project; STO says it has submitted a plan to the government asking for a ~40% share.
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  • Tue, Feb. 10, 2:57 PM
    • Norway’s government warns Statoil (STO -2.8%) against sacrificing the 300M-barrel Snorre oil project in the North Sea, after the company said the project was among those that could provide flexibility in the event of further spending cuts in coming years.
    • The Snorre 2040 project, aimed at prolonging the field’s lifetime and boosting extraction by adding a new platform, is more “time critical” than other ventures such as new developments, Norway’s energy minister says.
    • Norwegian companies including STO and global majors with Norwegian units are gearing up for sharp investment cuts that could sacrifice as many as 40K jobs nationwide.
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  • Fri, Feb. 6, 8:33 AM
    • Statoil (NYSE:STO) +1.7% premarket despite announcing Q4 results that showed a $1B-plus net loss, missing analyst expectations.
    • CEO Eldar Saetre says at STO's Capital Markets day that the company cut its U.S. onshore spending by 20%-25%, and has the flexibility to delay upcoming projects to maintain its dividend while avoiding loading on much more debt.
    • "We haven't stopped any of our ongoing projects, they're moving forward, but we've reduced activity quite significantly, including U.S. onshore," the CEO says.
    • At current oil prices, STO needs to take on more debt to cover its dividend and capital spending, but the company believes it could keep its debt as a share of its capital at a comfortable level even if the oil price stays at $60/bbl.
    • "Even in a $60 scenario, we operate within a debt ratio of 15%-30%, while increasing our production and investing heavily in Johan Sverdrup, and paying a competitive dividend," CFO Torgrim Reitan says.
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  • Fri, Feb. 6, 4:35 AM
    • Reporting a sharp slide in fourth-quarter profits, Statoil (NYSE:STO) became the latest oil company to slash spending this year and signal project delays after the plunge in crude prices.
    • The company will raise spending cuts by 30% to $1.7B from 2016 and lower capex to $18B this year from previous guidance of $20B.
    • Net loss for the three months through December was 8.9B kroner ($1.18B) compared with a net profit of 14.8B kroner a year earlier.
    • STO +3.3% AH
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  • Wed, Feb. 4, 7:57 AM
    • Statoil (NYSE:STO) appoints interim CEO Eldar Saetre to permanently fill the position; shares -3.6% premarket.
    • The appointment is a surprise, since Saetre, who has run the company since Helge Lund left in October to lead BG Group, had said he was not a candidate for the job on a permanent basis.
    • Saetre has worked for STO for 35 years and served as both CFO and head of the company’s marketing, processing and renewable energy unit.
    • The new CEO says STO’s strategy will remain largely unchanged, maintaining spending cuts begun last year to protect shareholder returns amid rising costs; he also says the company will strengthen its efforts in the "transition toward a low carbon society."
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  • Mon, Jan. 5, 2:21 PM
    • Statoil (STO -5.2%) says it has started production of natural gas and condensate from the Valemon field in North Sea and expects to recover up to 192M boe over the field's lifetime.
    • STO says the high pressure and high temperature field will cost ~$3B once all production wells are in operation.
    • STO owns a 53.7% stake in Valemon.
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  • 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.
  • Dec. 16, 2014, 3:26 PM
    • A consortium led by Statoil (STO +3.3%) has submitted a development plan for the Rutil discovery in the North Sea’s Gullfaks Rimfaks Valley that will extend production from the Gullfaks A platform, providing close to 80M boe.
    • The development, one of STO's fast-track projects, will cost 4.6B kroners ($610M), and production is scheduled to begin during Q1 2017.
    • The field, which is expected to operate for 15 years, is expected to produce 31K boe/day at its peak production in 2019.
    • STO has delayed several new developments as low oil prices and high costs have hurt profits and eaten into its cash, but the Gullfaks project should keep costs relatively low by using existing infrastructure and extend the lifetime of the Gullfaks A platform.
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  • Dec. 15, 2014, 2:42 PM
    • The European Commission gives conditional clearance for BP (BP -3.1%) to acquire jet fuel business Statoil Fuel and Retail Aviation (NYSE:STO), subject to conditions.
    • The competition authorities say BP had committed to divesting SFRA's activities at Stockholm, Malmo, Gothenburg and Copenhagen airports to remove concerns that increased concentration there would have led to price increases of fuel for airlines.
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Company Description
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.