Wed, May 27, 6:39 PM
- Chevron (NYSE:CVX) shareholders vote to give large investors the power to nominate directors to the company’s board, with 55% of votes cast favoring a proposal to give shareholders proxy access rights.
- The vote is not binding and CVX had opposed the proposal, warning it could create “significant risk" for investors, but CEO John Watson says the board will “consider the final voting results carefully, including the vote on proxy access and the thoughtful stockholder discussions on that issue."
- Supporters of the proposal think it would encourage CVX’s directors to address the long-term risks to the company’s business posed by climate change.
- The rule would allow investors who have owned 3% or more of CVX’s shares for at least three years to nominate directors for up to a quarter of the current board’s seats.
- A similar resolution came close to passing today at Exxon Mobil's (NYSE:XOM) annual meeting, where a proxy access proposal was supported by 49.4% of the shares voted.
Wed, May 27, 12:19 PM
- Proposals for Exxon Mobil (XOM -0.1%) and Chevron (CVX +0.3%) to nominate directors with climate change expertise, set greenhouse gas targets and compile reports on minimizing fracking risks are among resolutions being voted on today as the two biggest U.S. oil companies hold their shareholder meetings.
- Climate proposals regularly surface at oil company annual meetings, but today will mark the first time shareholders at XOM will vote on adding an independent climate expert to the board; the measure also will be considered at CVX's meeting after being rejected by an average of 77% of votes cast in previous years.
- The companies oppose all the measures, and none are expected to pass; support for a resolution urging XOM to set goals for cutting greenhouse gases may even decline from last year's 20%, thanks to an about-face by investor advisory service ISS that supported the proposal last year but this year has urged a no vote after saying XOM already discloses sufficient emissions data.
Wed, May 27, 11:40 AM
- Total (TOT +1.6%) says it has achieved the milestone of producing a cumulative 2B barrels of oil from its deepwater offshore Block 17 site off the coast of Angola, making the site its most prolific with production of more than 700K bbl/day; to add perspective, all of Britain produces ~800K bbl/day of oil.
- TOT operates Block 17 with a 40% interest, alongside Statoil (NYSE:STO) with 23.33%, Exxon (NYSE:XOM) 20% and BP 16.67%.
- Apart from Block 17, TOT owns a 30% stake in the Kaombo development, which holds ~650M barrels of total reserves with an anticipated total production capacity of 230K bbl/day.
Tue, May 26, 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
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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