Chevron Corporation (NYSE: CVX) reported earnings of $2.7 billion ($1.41 per share – diluted) for first quarter 2017, compared with a loss of $725 million ($0.39 per share – diluted) in the 2016 first quarter. Included in the quarter was a gain of approximately $600 million from the sale of an upstream asset. Foreign currency effects decreased earnings in first quarter 2017 by $241 million, compared with a decrease of $319 million a year earlier.
The Petroleum Services Association of Canada (PSAC), in its second update to the 2017 Canadian Drilling Activity Forecast, announced its revision of the forecasted number of wells drilled (rig released) across Canada for 2017 to 6,680 wells. This represents an increase of 2,505 wells and a 60 per cent increase from PSAC’s original 2017 Drilling Activity Forecast released in early November 2016 of 4,175 wells rig released. PSAC based its updated 2017 forecast on average natural gas prices of $3.00 CDN/mcf (AECO), crude oil prices of US$52.50/barrel (WTI) and the Canada-US exchange rate averaging $0.74.
U.S. Rig Count is up 450 rigs from last year's count of 420, with oil rigs up 365, gas rigs up 84, and miscellaneous rigs up 1. Canadian Rig Count is up 48 rigs from last year's count of 37, with oil rigs up 14, gas rigs up 35, and miscellaneous rigs down 1.
"Supported by the OPEC/non-OPEC agreement, Brent prices remained volatile in the context of high inventories and averaged 54 $/b this quarter. In this environment, Total's adjusted net income increased by 56% to $2.6 billion in the first quarter 2017, in line with the strong recent quarterly results of 2016, due to good operational performance and a steadily decreasing breakeven. Excluding acquisitions and asset sales, the Group generated $1.7 billion of cash flow after investments, mainly due to a 63% increase in operating cash flow before working capital changes from the Exploration & Production segment and investment discipline."
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures were trading at $49.37 per barrel at 0644 GMT, down 25 cents, or 0.5 percent from their last close. WTI has lost around 8.5 percent in value from its April peak. Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were at $51.63 per barrel, down 19 cents, or 0.37 percent. Brent is almost 9 percent below its April peak.
The World Bank is holding steady its crude oil price forecast for this year at $55 per barrel, increasing to an average of $60 per barrel in 2018. Rising oil prices, supported by production cutbacks by Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC states, will allow markets to gradually rebalance. These oil price forecasts are subject to downside risks should the rebound in the U.S. shale oil industry be greater than expected.
“If OPEC and the coalition don’t extend the agreement to continue cuts, that price floor will go,” he said. “Without it, prices would fall, and there’s nothing to stop oil going below $40 a barrel.”
Preliminary production figures for March 2017 show an average daily production of 2 145 000 barrels of oil, NGL and condensate, which is an increase of 63 000 barrels per day (approx. 3 percent) compared to February.
Halliburton Company (NYSE:HAL) announced a loss from continuing operations of $32 million, or $0.04 per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2017.
The June crude oil contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange dropped 39¢ on Apr. 24 to close at $49.23/bbl. The July contract decreased 39¢ to $49.58/bbl. The natural gas price for May fell 3.5¢ to a rounded $3.07/MMbtu. The Henry Hub cash gas price was $2.98, down 6¢. The Brent crude contract for June on London’s ICE fell 36¢ to settle at $51.60/bbl. The July contract was down 31¢ to $52.13/bbl. The May gas oil contract declined $1.75 to $465.75/tonne. OPEC’s basket of crudes closed Apr. 24 at $49.64/bbl, down 35¢.