Mon, Jan. 12, 7:22 PM
- The number of drilling rigs operating in North Dakota's oil fields has dropped to 159, the lowest level since November 2010.
- The state lost eight rigs overnight, according to state data, a steep one-day drop not seen for years in the second-ranked U.S. oil producer.
- The drop comes after Continental Resources (NYSE:CLR), Oasis Petroleum (NYSE:OAS) and other companies announced capital spending cuts for 2015, admitting they planned to use fewer rigs this year.
- Other major North Dakota producers include EOG, WLL, HES, XOM, NOG, EOX and MRO.
Mon, Jan. 12, 7:57 AM
- Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) plans to spend up to $25B on the West Coast Canada LNG terminal in British Columbia to export liquefied natural gas, according to a report it filed along with its Imperial Oil (NYSEMKT:IMO) subsidiary to provincial environmental regulators.
- XOM is positioning itself to make up ground on Malaysia’s Petronas, which is widely viewed as the front-runner among 18 entrants in the race to export LNG from Canada's Pacific coast.
- XOM hopes to secure a provincial environmental assessment certificate by the end of 2016, which would clear the way for a final investment decision in 2017 on constructing an export terminal at Tuck Inlet, near Prince Rupert in northwest B.C.
Fri, Jan. 9, 6:56 PM
- Wall Street is bracing for a 20% decline in energy companies’ Q4 earnings, with deeper losses expected later when companies report Q1 and Q2 earnings.
- Schlumberger (NYSE:SLB) on Thursday will be the first among oilfield services companies to report, while other companies, such as Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT), which reports on Jan. 27, also may report pain from falling oil prices.
- Among the giant oil companies, ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) is expected report its Q4 on Jan. 29 with analyst consensus EPS of $0.89 vs. $1.40 a year earlier, Chevron (NYSE:CVX) reports on Jan. 30 and analysts foresee EPS of $1.78 vs. $2.57 a year ago, and Exxon (NYSE:XOM) reports on Feb. 2 and is seen reporting $1.41 vs. $1.91 last year.
- Perhaps more than earnings numbers, investors will want to hear about belt-tightening measures at energy companies; more than 40 so far have announced their 2015 capex plans, with the average budget calling for a reduction in spending of more than 30%.
- Expect to hear the term “ex-energy” to describe overall earnings outside energy companies, the same way “ex-financials” was handy a few years back.
Fri, Jan. 9, 5:49 PM
- Petrobras (NYSE:PBR) says it produced more crude oil during Q3 than Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM), making it the world's largest publicly traded oil producer for the first time.
- PBR reports it produced 2.209M bbl/day of oil and other liquids, a 7% Q/Q gain; when natural gas is included, however, XOM produced 3.83M boe/day vs. 2.74M boe/day for PBR.
- In terms of market value, XOM remains the world's most valuable oil company with a market cap of $384; PBR has seen its value plummet from nearly $300B in 2008 to ~$40B today.
Fri, Jan. 9, 10:56 AM
- North Dakota needs an oil price of $55/bbl and a fleet of at least 140 rigs to sustain production at the current level of 1.2M bbl/day, according to a presentation from the state's chief mineral resources regulator.
- Breakeven rates for new wells range from $29 in Dunn county and $30 in McKenzie to $36 in Williams and $41 in Mountrail; these four counties account for 90% of drilling in the state.
- The number of rigs operating in the state already has fallen to 165, down from 191 in October.
- The projections confirm North Dakota's oil output will start to fall by year's end unless prices rise from current depressed levels.
- Top Bakken producers: CLR, EOG, WLL, HES, XOM, OAS, NOG, EOX, MRO
Thu, Jan. 8, 3:29 PM
- News reports about crude oil futures prices plunging through $50/bbl have been plentiful but many U.S. physical crude producers are receiving far less and would be thrilled if they could get $50, Reuters' John Kemp writes.
- Case in point: Prices received by oil producers in North Dakota's Williston Basin have averaged less than $34/bbl so far this month, according to Plains Marketing, falling by almost two-thirds since June when Plains posted an average price of nearly $92/bbl for Williston Sweet.
- The recent decline has been almost as rapid and brutal as 2008-09 when Williston prices crashed from $116 to less than $17.
- Kemp says past experience suggests extreme prices tend be relatively short-lived phenomena and followed by at least a partial correction, and thinks some sort of rebound is likely this time around in the next 2-3 months.
- Top Bakken producers: CLR, EOG, WLL, HES, XOM, OAS, NOG, EOX, MRO.
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).
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, 12:18 PM
- Energy stocks severely underperform the broader market, with the sector -4.2% vs. the S&P 500's -1.4%, as U.S. oil prices briefly slip below $50/bbl for the first time since April 2009; Nymex crude recently was -4.4% at $50.37, while Brent crude -5.9% at $53.08.
- Among the day's biggest losers: DNR -9%, RIG -7.6%, NBR -4.8%, CHK -5.9%, SDRL -9.1%, SD -12.3%, NOV -5.9%, PSX -6.2%, APA -5.9%, DVN -4.4%, EOG -6%, SU -5.2%, OXY -4.2%, APC -8.7%, PWE -9%, ECA -5.5%, MRO -5.3%.
- Global oil majors, which have been seen as less vulnerable to falling oil prices, are posting big losses: XOM -2.7%, COP -4.5%, CVX -3.8%, BP -5.8%, RDS.A -4.6%, TOT -6.5%.
- ETFs: USO, XLE, OIL, UCO, ERX, VDE, OIH, SCO, XOP, ERY, FCG, DIG, PBW, BNO, GASL, DTO, DBO, DUG, IYE, XES, IEO, QCLN, IEZ, UWTI, PXE, USL, PXI, FENY, DWTI, PXJ, DNO, PSCE, RYE, SZO, PUW, FXN, OLO, DDG, HECO, TWTI, OLEM
Fri, Jan. 2, 2:55 PM
- Europe largely missed out on last year's $383B in oil and gas sector M&A activity, but Europe likely will get a bigger piece of the action in 2015 if current oil prices persist, according to Reuters' Fiona Maharg-Bravo.
- Net debt at smaller explorers such as Tullow Oil (OTCPK:TUWLF, OTCPK:TUWOY), Premier Oil (OTC:PMOIF), Afren (OTCPK:AFRNF) and EnQuest (OTC:ENQUF) could all reach 3x EBITDA if oil remains at $60/bbl through 2015, Barclays estimates.
- BG Group (OTCPK:BRGXF, OTCQX:BRGYY) has long been a target, and the new CEO starts in March; BP faces big liabilities in the Gulf of Mexico and volatility in Russia, it’s not clear if Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) will make a move, while Exxon (NYSE:XOM) and other U.S. majors could be tempted.
Fri, Jan. 2, 12:56 PM
- Exxon Mobil (XOM +0.2%), facing a class-action lawsuit by landowners after the Pegasus pipeline in Arkansas ruptured and spilled more than 200K gallons of oil in 2013, says it should not release any further information on a proposed but abandoned pipeline intended to run alongside Pegasus.
- XOM lawyers argued in a court brief this week that information pertaining to the project is not relevant to the case; the plaintiffs' lawyers say XOM simply does not want to disclose information about replacing Pegasus, which was built in the 1940s.
- The 850-mile-long Pegasus line runs from Texas to Illinois and was closed shortly after the spill, but a 212-mile segment in Texas has been restarted.
Thu, Jan. 1, 2:19 AM
- Dow: INTC +41%; UNH +35%; HD +28%; CSCO +25%; MSFT +25%.
- S&P 500: LUV +125%; EA +106%; EW +95%; AGN +92%; AVGO +91%.
- Nasdaq: AAL +112%; EA +106%; AVGO +91%; GMCR +78%; ILMN +68%.
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. 18, 2014, 3:49 PM
- Exxon Mobil (XOM +1.8%) says it successfully drilled its second shale oil and gas well this year at the Vaca Muerta deposit in Argentina.
- “Our second well is flowing at levels that make it one of the best in the formation and complements those obtained at our first well," XOM says.
- XOM has interests in ~900K acres in Vaca Muerta, and is among foreign energy companies including Chevron and Shell developing shale fields in the huge deposit that holds at least 23B barrels of oil.
Dec. 17, 2014, 2:20 PM
- New York Gov. Cuomo's administration says it will ban fracking statewide, citing health concerns and what it considers as limited economic benefits to drilling.
- NY's acting health commissioner said at a cabinet meeting in Albany today that studies on fracking’s effects on water, air and soil are inconsistent, incomplete and raise too many “red flags” for the state to allow it; the state Department of Environmental Conservation will now issue a legally-binding recommendation prohibiting fracking.
- The state has had a de facto moratorium on fracking for more than six years, so nothing really changes with today's decision.
- Parts of New York sit atop the gas-rich Marcellus shale formation, whose top producers include CHK, RRC, RDS.A, RDS.B, TLM, APC, ATLS, COG, CVX, CNX, EQT, EOG, XOM, WPX, XCO, CRZO, SWN, AR.
Dec. 17, 2014, 10:56 AM
- Ivory Coast's government says it has signed production sharing agreements with Exxon Mobil (XOM +3.2%) for two ultra-deepwater blocks in the Gulf of Guinea.
- The deal covers Ivory Coast's CI-602 and CI-603 blocks, which cover 3,874 sq. km and 5,543 sq. km respectively and vary in depth from 3K-4K meters.
- Ivory Coast is seeking investors for seven new ultra-deepwater blocks.
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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