Today, 10:33 AM
- Mexico's government has approved 19 companies and seven groups to bid on 14 shallow-water exploration blocks as it prepares to allow private producers to drill in its waters for the first time in more than 75 years.
- Exxon Mobil (XOM -0.8%), Chevron (CVX -1.1%) and Pacific Rubiales Energy (OTCPK:PEGFF -3%) were among the companies that Mexico’s oil regulator cleared to develop ~80K bb/day of crude in the Gulf of Mexico.
- Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) and Petrobras (NYSE:PBR) began the process of pre-qualification but ultimately decided to stop and will not participate as bidders in the first phase of the first round.
- In addition to the 14 shallow-water blocks for the scheduled July 15 auction, Mexico also will auction nine other shallow-water blocks in the Gulf of Mexico in September and 26 onshore blocks in December.
Fri, May 22, 11:57 AM
- Exxon Mobil (XOM -0.4%) denies reports that it had ramped up lobbying efforts with the U.S. government over Iranian sanctions.
- XOM releases a statement calling the reports "inaccurate" and resulting from "errors in a consultant’s lobbying disclosures."
- Bloomberg reported yesterday that XOM had hired a lobbying firm founded by former U.S. senator Don Nickles to push for reduced sanctions against Iran.
Fri, May 22, 10:17 AM
- BofA Merrill Lynch has become more optimistic on the energy sector, on both a small and large cap basis, citing attractive valuations, a performance that has lagged behind the rebound in oil prices, and analysts beginning to revise earnings expectations higher.
- Savita Subramanian and her analyst team remain biased toward the “big, old and ugly” energy stocks - the mega-cap leaders which have shown long-term staying power and that typically pay outstanding dividends.
- Their four favorites: COP, XOM, HES, OXY
Thu, May 21, 2:30 PM
- Exxon Mobil (XOM +0.2%) reportedly is ramping up lobbying efforts with the U.S. government over sanctions against Iran that have locked out American oil companies from the country since 1979.
- XOM has hired the lobbying firm founded by former Sen. Don Nickles to work on Iranian sanctions, the first time it has enlisted outside lobbyists to discuss Iran since 2010.
- "Given sanctions and the dilapidation of oilfields over time, it looks like it’d be a lot of work” for foreign companies to revive production, says a Morningstar analyst, "but unlike Iraq, you don’t have a civil war going on, so it’d be an easier path to growing production."
Thu, May 21, 9:30 AM
- Alongside Goldman's list of 50 stocks appearing most as top holdings at hedge funds is its list of the 50 top shorts.
- New additions this quarter: Baxter Intl (NYSE:BAX), UPS, Marriott (NASDAQ:MAR), NextEra (NYSE:NEE), Ford (NYSE:F), National Oilwell Varco (NYSE:NOV), McDonald's (NYSE:MCD), M&T Bank (NYSE:MTB), CenturyLink (NYSE:CTL), Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN), Pioneer Natural (NYSE:PXD), Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK), Seagate (NASDAQ:STX), AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV), Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO).
- The full list (in order of $ value of short interest): AT&T (NYSE:T), Disney (NYSE:DIS), IBM, Verizon (NYSE:VZ), Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), Kinder Morgan (NYSE:KMI), Exxon (NYSE:XOM), Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), J&J (NYSE:JNJ), Deere (NYSE:DE), Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT), Exelon (NYSE:EXC), GE, Boeing (NYSE:BA), Halliburton (NYSE:HAL), Fox (NASDAQ:FOXA), Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA), UTX, Regeneron (NASDAQ:REGN), Merck (NYSE:MRK), salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM), AbbVie (ABBV), Conoco (NYSE:COP), Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT), Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY), Celgene (NASDAQ:CELG), Schlumberger (NYSE:SLB), AutoZone (NYSE:AZO), Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC), Emerson (NYSE:EMR), McDonald's (MCD), Reynolds (NYSE:RAI), Target (NYSE:TGT), Accenture (NYSE:ACN), Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO).
Thu, May 21, 9:16 AM
- Australian contractor Worleyparsons (OTCPK:WYGPF) agrees to pay US$78M to an affiliate of Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) to settle a dispute over construction of a large drilling platform in waters off Russia's eastern coast.
- The Arkutun-Dagi project called for building one of the largest offshore drilling platforms in the world, designed to withstand extreme winds and waves.
- But the project was over budget and a year behind schedule when oil began flowing in January, and XOM claimed Worleyparsons contributed to the delay by making mistakes in the design of the platform.
Wed, May 20, 11:15 PM
- Europe’s largest oil companies - including Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B), Total (NYSE:TOT), BP, Statoil (NYSE:STO) and Eni (NYSE:E) - are banding together to forge a joint strategy on climate change policy, worried they could be ignored as the world moves toward a potential deal limiting greenhouse gases.
- The companies are said to be working on a plan to start a new industry body or think tank to develop common positions on climate change issues, with a public announcement as soon as next month.
- “If we don’t [act], we risk becoming an industry that neither gets access nor acceptance, and that’s not a good thing,” as STO's Eldar Saetre said recently.
- So far, the largest U.S. companies - Exxon (NYSE:XOM) and Chevron (NYSE:CVX) - are not participating.
Wed, May 20, 3:19 PM
- British Columbia's provincial government and Petronas sign an agreement that marks a crucial step toward a $36B liquefied natural gas project near Prince Rupert, including long-term royalty agreements that government officials say bring revenue minimums to the province and rate stability to Petronas.
- B.C. is sweetening its offering with iron-clad "cost certainty” assurances to the Petronas-led consortium in a final push to establish the LNG project and set the stage for a “new era of economic activity” in the province, Premier Christy Clark says.
- As many as 19 groups have proposed LNG export projects on Canada's west coast, including Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B), Chevron (NYSE:CVX) and Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM), but none has made a decision; the Petronas-led consortium is closest to the finish line and expects to make a final investment decision next month.
Wed, May 20, 2:14 PM
- Exxon Mobil (XOM +0.3%) announces a significant oil discovery in the Stabroek Block near Guyana, as an exploratory well encounters more than 295 ft. of high-quality oil-bearing sandstone reservoirs.
- XOM says it is encouraged by the results from the well, the first on the 6.6M-acre Stabroek Block, but is still evaluating the commercial viability of the site.
- Hess (HES +2.2%) holds a 30% interest in the Stabroek Block, and Cnooc (CEO +0.2%) holds a 25% stake.
Tue, May 19, 6:19 PM
- It's only a matter of time before Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) makes a large strategic acquisition, Oppenheimer analyst Fadel Gheit says.
- XOM has an unparalleled financial flexibility, as the only AAA credit-rated company among peers and having 3.7B shares in its treasury with a current market value of at least $320B, or ~59% above the market cap of its largest competitor, Gheit writes, expecting it to "capitalize on its competitive advantage by making a large strategic acquisition" in the current oil downturn to make up for the disappointing $41B purchase of XTO in 2010.
Mon, May 18, 7:45 PM
- Goldman Sachs had a lot to say about all corners of the energy sector today in addition to the cut in its long-term oil price forecast, its Sell recommendations for oil majors BP, Statoil (NYSE:STO) and Chevron (NYSE:CVX), and its gloomy outlook for offshore drillers Transocean (NYSE:RIG), Diamond Offshore (NYSE:DO) and Atwood Oceanics (NYSE:ATW).
- Goldman awards a Buy rating for Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM), "the only U.S. or European major that can generate sufficient free cash flow to cover its dividend near $60/bbl in 2016-17"; while the firm says other oil majors will be struggling to keep the dividend flat, XOM will be in a position to increase the dividend for the next several years.
- With its expectation for long-term weakness in oil and gas prices, Goldman sees risk exposure in many names that are reliant on commodity prices, suggesting selling LINE, DPM, NGLS, while predicting PAGP and NS would benefit from a removal of the U.S. crude oil export ban.
- The firm thinks many midstream MLP names now offer attractive valuations, recommending ENB, EPD, ETE, PAA, SXL, WNRL.
- Goldman sees an upturn for frac sand provider Emerge Energy (NYSE:EMES), upgrading shares to Buy from Neutral.
- Other Buys: CLR, NFX, CQP, HEP.
- Other Sells: TRP, TCP, GPOR, MUR, GTE
Mon, May 18, 8:15 AM
- BHP Billiton (NYSE:BHP) is lowering the priority of its Scarborough liquefied natural gas project with Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) in Australia, BHP petroleum president Tim Cutt says, amid falling prices and increasing competition from the U.S.
- “LNG prices are down quite a bit from last year,” so the project “falls a bit lower” on the list of opportunities, Cutt says.
- Cutt has backed plans to develop what could become the world’s largest floating LNG project and that BHP was aligned with partner XOM, which has said that while significant progress had been made, it needs to find ways to make the proposed venture more profitable and overcome challenges including the location and water depths.
Wed, May 13, 6:19 PM
- North Dakota recorded a surprising jump in oil and natural gas production in March, as producers successfully wring efficiencies out of existing operations in an attempt to maintain production even at depressed prices.
- The state's oil producers pumped nearly 1.2M bbl/day in March, up ~15K from February, while natural gas output rose 14% to 47.2M cf, according to the Department of Mineral Resources.
- The agency says 189 North Dakota wells were completed in March at locations owned by Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM), Hess (NYSE:HES), Continental Resources (NYSE:CLR) and ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP), as "these four appear to be more in tune with having normal cash flow, and continue to complete their wells in a more aggressive manner."
- But in a sign of divergent strategies in the state, EOG Resources (NYSE:EOG) and Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO) continue to delay fracking.
- Other top Bakken producers include WLL, OAS, NOG and EOX
Wed, May 13, 10:33 AM
- Petronas' C$1.15B ($960M) offer to compensate the Lax Kw’alaams aboriginal group for building a natural gas export terminal on its ancestral lands in British Columbia has been rejected, dealing another blow to plans to export liquefied natural gas from North America to Asian markets.
- The public should recognize that "this is not a money issue: this is environmental and cultural," the group says.
- Winning the support of indigenous groups including the 3,600-member Lax Kw’alaams is considered critical for advancing the Pacific NorthWest LNG project and other gas export plans in Canada.
- The project is one of several LNG developments proposed for the province, including from Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B), Chevron (NYSE:CVX) and Exxon (NYSE:XOM).
Tue, May 12, 8:39 AM
- Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) says it has begun ramping up production at the new Banyu Urip oil field, part of its Cepu block in East Java, Indonesia, targeting peak output later this year of more than 200K bbl/day.
- The Banyu Urip discovery in 2001 was one of the largest in Asia in the last 15 years, but disagreements between XOM and Indonesia's state oil company Pertamina have slowed its development.
- The field is crucial to Indonesia's long-term efforts to meet rising domestic demand as production declines at aging fields in the former OPEC member.
Mon, May 11, 4:59 PM
- Oil production from seven major U.S. shale plays is expected to fall by 86K bbl/day in June, according to the latest report from the Energy Information Administration.
- Oil output at the Eagle Ford shale play in South Texas is forecast to see the biggest decline, down 47K bbl/day, while production at the Bakken shale play, centered in North Dakota, is expected to drop by 31K bbl/day, the report says.
- "The data shows that production in the Bakken and Eagle Ford [plays] peaked in March at 1.33M bbl/day and 1.73M bbl/day, respectively," says WTRG Economics energy economist James Williams.
- Among the top Eagle Ford producers: EOG, BHP, COP, CHK, MRO, APC
- Among the top Bakken producers: CLR, EOG, WLL, HES, XOM, OAS, NOG, EOX, MRO
XOM vs. ETF Alternatives
Exxon Mobil Corporation is engaged in energy, involving exploration for, and production of, crude oil and natural gas, manufacture of petroleum products and transportation and sale of crude oil, natural gas and petroleum products.
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