Wed, Jul. 29, 1:51 PM
Mon, Jul. 27, 6:34 PM
- Prudhoe Bay field owners BP and ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM) have asked Alaska regulators to approve plans to increase the volume of natural gas allowed to be produced and sold from the North Slope field.
- The Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has limited gas offtake at 2.7B cf/day of gas since 1977, but the two companies are asking to increase the rate to 4.1B cf/day to supply a planned Alaska gas pipeline and liquefied natural gas export project; a separate application for gas offtake from the Point Thomson gas field, which also would supply the LNG Project, is expected later.
- ~8B cf/day of gas is now produced - along with oil - at Prudhoe, but most is injected back underground to maintain pressure in the reservoir to aid oil production; the concern is that if ~50% of the produced gas is shipped to markets via pipeline, there would be less gas injected and less support for pressure in the reservoir, resulting in lower oil output.
- BP is the Prudhoe Bay field operator and a major stakeholder along with XOM; ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP), also a major stakeholder, was not included in the application and says it was not aware that the other two companies would do so.
Fri, Jul. 24, 12:54 PM
- No new well completion reports have been filed in North Dakota since July 10, the longest gap this year, according to the state’s Department of Mineral Resources.
- The slump in reported completions is unusual and coincides with the fall in oil prices which has seen wellhead prices for Bakken crude drop below $50/bbl; Reuters' John Kemp says if the slump continues for much longer, it could be a sign that shale producers are deferring putting more wells into production to save cash and wait for better prices.
- The number of wells reported completed so far in July is running far below the previous level and well below the number the DMR estimates is needed to hold production steady, Kemp writes.
- Top Bakken producers include CLR, HES, EOG, WLL, XOM, OAS, NOG, EOX, MRO
Wed, Jul. 22, 2:56 PM
- In contrast to his upbeat analysis (I, II) of Exxon Mobil (XOM +1.2%), Goldman's Neil Mehta thinks investors should sell Chevron (CVX -0.2%) and Cenovus Energy (CVE -2.2%) on concerns about dividend sustainability.
- Believing too many investors are focusing on absolute yield when an ability to post dividend growth is more important long term, the analyst ranks CVX a Sell given low dividend growth, weak free cash flow and E&P volume risk, while CVE is a Sell because of limited dividend growth, lower returns and a premium valuation.
- XOM and Suncor Energy (SU -0.4%), on the other hand, "are set to deliver the highest dividend growth through the end of the decade - and now offer solid valuation upside from current levels."
Wed, Jul. 22, 10:58 AM
- More on Goldman Sachs' addition of Exxon Mobil (XOM +0.7%) to its Conviction Buy list: Analyst Neil Mehta thinks the company is positioned to outperform the sector and calls the company a "rare dividend/FCF growth story among big oils."
- Metha highlights four key positives: improving free cash flow, driving premium dividend growth; an inflection in production growth; strong refining earnings improvement driven by higher global crack spreads; and investor positioning, with many large cap portfolio managers still meaningfully underweight the stock.
- The analyst expects free cash flow will ramp from $9B at $57/bbl Brent in 2015 to $19B in 2017 at $65/bbl Brent, as capex decreases and volumes improve, and believes XOM can raise its dividend, on average, by 6% through 2017 vs. zero improvement for ConocoPhillips (COP -0.7%) and just 1% for Chevron (CVX +0.3%).
Wed, Jul. 22, 8:24 AM
- Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) +0.4% premarket after Goldman Sachs added the stock to its Conviction Buy list with a $95 price target, citing above average dividend growth, a strong balance sheet and healthy refining margins, among other factors.
- Goldman says XOM is "uniquely positioned to outperform peers and the energy sector" to benefit from "the new oil order."
Tue, Jul. 21, 3:29 PM
- Exxon Mobil's (XOM -0.3%) recent discovery off the coast of Guyana may hold oil and natural gas worth 12x the country’s entire economic output, and may begin pumping crude in as few as five years, according to Guyana's minister of governance.
- The Liza-1 well, which could hold more than 700M boe, would be on par with a recent XOM find at the Hadrian formation in the Gulf of Mexico and be worth ~$40B at today’s international crude price.
- While declining to comment on the 700M boe estimate, XOM says it is encouraged by early drilling exercises in the area.
Tue, Jul. 21, 8:55 AM
- Total (NYSE:TOT) says it has started production from its Dalia Phase 1A project, boosting its deepwater Block 17 offshore Angola production by ~30K bbl/day.
- The development, which unlocks 51M barrels additional reserves, is in TOT’s deep offshore Block 17; TOT operates the block with a 40% interest, alongside Statoil with 23.3% (NYSE:STO), Exxon with 20% (NYSE:XOM) and BP with 16.7%.
- In total, TOT operates four FPSO units on the major production zones of Block 17.
- TOT +0.8% premarket.
Sat, Jul. 18, 9:25 AM
- Pump prices in California have been rising and are likely to remain high, as damage from a February explosion at the Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) refinery in Torrance, Calif., keeps operations at less than 20% capacity.
- Repairs are moving slowly; pollution control systems damaged in the explosion include two units with ~1,300 plates that capture fine particulate matter, and XOM is replacing all of the plates.
- XOM has asked the local air quality management district for approval to use an old pollution control unit it replaced in 2008 to temporarily restore full operations at the refinery, but regulators said the old equipment does not capture emissions well enough.
- Analysts had expected the refinery to return to full service in July, but now it is not expected to return to full operations for much longer - perhaps the end of the year.
- Meanwhile, an ongoing inventory shortage is exacerbating the price at the pump, affecting all Californians who drive.
Thu, Jul. 16, 7:05 PM
- BP is on the hook for most of a $136M award to offshore driller Noble Corp. (NYSE:NE) in a contract dispute over a rig that was to drill offshore Libya in 2010, an arbitration panel finds.
- A Noble subsidiary initiated arbitration proceedings in 2010 against the Libyan operating subsidiaries of both BP and Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) under a drilling contract for the Noble Homer Ferrington for operations in that country.
- NE says the panel issued an award in the company's favor, and the period when the defendants could seek clarification or correction of the award under the applicable arbitration rules expired July 10.
Wed, Jul. 15, 2:22 PM
- Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM), Chevron (NYSE:CVX) and Total (NYSE:TOT) all passed on the first 14 shallow-water oil blocks auctioned by Mexico today in the country’s first-ever sale of territory in the Gulf of Mexico.
- Only one of Mexico’s first five oil blocks auctioned received a qualifying bid, as a consortium of Mexico's Sierra Oil & Gas, Talos Energy and Premier Oil (OTC:PMOIF) won block no. 2 after the first block did not receive a bid.
- A combined offer from Murphy Oil and Petronas was the sole bid on block. no. 3 but it was disqualified because it missed the country's required 40% minimum take.
- The tender was the first of five in what Mexico calls Round One, which also will include subsequent auctions for onshore reserves, deepwater oil, and non-conventional reserves such as those found in shale rock formations.
Tue, Jul. 14, 8:59 AM
- Vietnam's national oil company is set to work with Murphy Oil (NYSE:MUR) and Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) to strengthen cooperation in oil and gas projects in the country.
- MUR President/CEO Roger Jenkins signs an MOU with PetroVietnam to boost cooperation in petroleum projects, particularly the development of the Block B gas project in the Malay Tho Chu basin and some blocks in the Cuu Long basin offshore Vietnam.
- PetroVietnam and XOM are discussing plans to produce first gas from the Ca Voi Xanh gas field off central Vietnam by 2021.
- In June, PetroVietnam acquired full interest in Chevron's companies in the country.
Mon, Jul. 13, 3:55 PM
- A judge rejects an attempt by environmental activists and a state lawmaker to intervene in New Jersey Gov. Christie’s decision to settle a contamination case with Exxon Mobil (XOM +0.3%) for $225M, a figure that had disappointed the activist groups after the state had once sought as much as $8.9B.
- The judge rules that the interests of those opposed to the settlement were adequately represented by New Jersey's Department of Environmental Protection, the original party in the 11-year dispute.
- Earlier: Judge weighs environmental groups' standing in Exxon New Jersey case (July 11)
Sat, Jul. 11, 9:10 AM
- The two newsletter writers with the best track record of predicting oil market moves say the bottom is near, and crude prices should rise significantly in the next few years, Mark Hulbert reports in Barron's.
- Jim Stack of InvesTech Research thinks global oversupply will lessen in coming months, as U.S. drilling rig counts are down by more than half since late last year; technically, he is impressed with oil’s successful retest in March of its January low, and says the outlook will improve even more if oil remains above its March lows through August.
- Kelley Wright of Investment Quality Trends believes that, so long as the focus is on blue-chip companies with strong financials, the dividend yield is a reliable guide to over- and under-valuation; among blue-chip energy stocks he says are undervalued since their yields now trade near the high end of their historical ranges are XOM, CVX and SLB.
- ETFs: USO, OIL, UCO, UWTI, SCO, BNO, DBO, DWTI, DTO, USL, DNO, OLO, SZO, OLEM
Sat, Jul. 11, 8:25 AM
- Attorneys for environmental groups and a Democratic state senator told a judge Friday they should be permitted to intervene in New Jersey Gov. Christie’s controversial decision to settle a long-standing contamination case with Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) for $225M.
- The activists oppose the proposed settlement on the grounds that it is just a fraction of the $8.9B the state had argued earlier that XOM owed, while the Christie administration and XOM say the groups and the senator do not have legal standing in the case.
- The arguments came after more than a decade of litigation surrounding damages, caused by XOM's refineries, to an area covering 1,500-plus acres of wetlands, meadows and waterways near Bayonne.
- The judge said he would issue a written decision next week.
Thu, Jul. 9, 7:21 PM
- Bloomberg's Carl Pope makes the case that the largest publicly traded oil companies face a problem that will only grow worse with time: Dependence on ever higher oil prices to match their ever higher costs of discovery.
- Pope notes that publicly traded oil and gas companies have access to only 10% of the world’s oil reserves, and those reserves increasingly are located in areas that are among the most difficult and expensive to extract; meanwhile, more accessible, inexpensive crude reserves in places like Russia and the Persian Gulf are set aside by governments for their own national oil companies.
- The columnist notes that the percentage of Exxon’s (NYSE:XOM) proven reserves made up of tar sands and heavy oil increased from 15% in 2006 to 32% by 2013, and relying on a larger share of more expensive oil has worn on XOM's margins and returns.
- Other relevant tickers: CVX, COP, BP, RDS.A, RDS.B, TOT, E
- ETFs: XOP, IEO, PXE, NDP, GUSH, DRIP
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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