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2015-05-22 17:40:00



So far oil and gas companies have largely weathered the sharp drop in oil prices with minimal carnage. But that carnage is coming, according to a new report from Moody's Investors Service.

Analysts at Moody's predict that the default rate for oil and gas companies with lower credit ratings — B2 or lower — could increase to 7.4% by March 2016 from 2.7%.

Moody's Senior Vice President David Keisman said in the report that even if energy prices recover gradually to roughly $70 to $75 per barrel in 2016, the "weaker oil & gas issuers" will still be positioned for a "much greater risk of default."

Oil and gas companies have already seen a swift drop in their credit ratings, Moody's said. As of May 1, 2015, these firms accounted for 14.8% of all the companies covered by Moody's with credit ratings of B3 or lower, up from 8% the prior year.

And Moody's admits that its predictions of a rebound to $70 to $75 per barrel oil could prove to be optimistic. Analysts' estimates for where oil prices will move vary widely. Oil prices have risen 30% from a near six-year low hit in March, yet the U.S. oil benchmark has dropped in the past six trading sessions by nearly 6%.

Independent exploration and production companies should have the most trouble in the coming year, as they are typically smaller in size and more reliant on outsize capital spending to replenish their reserves, Moody's wrote. "In times of weak commodity prices, these companies have a higher reliance on borrowings under their credit facilities and external financing sources."

Refiners, by contrast, are better positioned to survive the volatility in oil prices because business is not directly tied to the price of oil.

Moody's predicts that overall oil and gas companies with stronger balance sheets will prevail in the coming years, while weaker comes will see their troubles increase substantially. "The current environment for US oil & gas companies has evolved from a story of an entire industry sector at risk to a more nuanced story of risk migrating to the weakest," Moody's said.

Moody's pointed out the good news even in a potential default scenario for lenders to oil and gas companies is that bank lenders have seen nearly full recoveries in bankruptcy scenarios.

Quicksilver Resources Inc. and American Eagle Energy Corp. both filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in recent months.

So far neither predictions of widespread defaults in oil and gas junk bonds nor cataclysms these defaults might cause in the junk bond market have come to pass.




2018, May, 23, 10:21:00


WNN - "We met today to confirm the continuing commitment of the European Commission and the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran towards the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, and in particular its Annex III which addresses civil nuclear cooperation," Cañete and Ali Akhbar Salehi, president of the AEOI, said in a joint statement on 19 May. "We believe that the continuing implementation of the JCPOA, which was unanimously endorsed by UN Security Council Resolution 2231, is crucial for the development and progress of the region as well as the global peace and security."

2018, May, 23, 10:15:00


BLOOMBERG - Natural gas will probably emerge as the main fossil fuel “winner” as it balances renewables in power generation and is used as a substitute for oil in petrochemicals. Long-term gas demand is set to increase by 15 percent, or by 750 billion cubic meters, compared to business as usual,

2018, May, 23, 10:10:00


WNN - The United States, Canada, and Japan are launching the Nuclear Innovation: Clean Energy (NICE) Future Initiative. This global effort will make sure nuclear has a seat at the table during discussions about innovation and advanced clean energy systems of the future.

2018, May, 23, 10:05:00


AOG - The agreement between ADNOC and ISPRL, which was initiated in January 2017 during a visit to India by a high-ranking UAE delegation, led by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, covers the storage of 5.86 million barrels of ADNOC crude oil in underground facilities, at the Karnataka facility. The first shipment, of approximately two million barrels of crude oil, will be followed by further shipments after India’s annual monsoon season.

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