The Wall Street bankers that backed the biggest oil boom in U.S. history are paying a price for the bust.
Lenders including JPMorgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo & Co. and Bank of America Corp. are setting aside more money to cover potential loan losses after crude prices fell 61 percent in less than two years. Bank of America added $595 million to its oil and natural gas loan loss reserves, bringing the total to more than $1 billion, according to an earnings statement on Thursday. JPMorgan said Wednesday that it had added $529 million, bringing the total to $1.3 billion. Wells Fargo, which will release earnings later on Thursday, had $1.2 billion set aside at the end of 2015.
Of Bank of America's outstanding $21.8 billion of energy loans, $7.7 billion are to oilfield services and exploration and production companies, which it called "higher risk sub-sectors." Of that, $4.3 billion, or 56 percent, has been deemed "criticized," a four-tier regulatory designation that means, at best, the loans exhibit potential weaknesses.
Banks have come under pressure from regulators and investors to reduce their exposure to the industry. Since the start of the year, lenders have pulled $5.6 billion of credit from 36 oil and gas producers, a reduction of 12 percent. It's the most severe retreat since the bust began and an abrupt turnaround from last year when banks were lenient on struggling drillers in the hope that oil prices would rebound.
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WNA - Apart from adding capacity, utilisation of existing plants has improved markedly since 2000. In the 1990s capacity factors averaged around 60%, but they have steadily improved since and in 2010, 2011 and 2014 were above 81%. Balakovo was the best plant in 2011 with 92.5%, and again in 2014 with 85.1%.
WNA - India has a flourishing and largely indigenous nuclear power programme and expects to have 14.6 GWe nuclear capacity on line by 2024 and 63 GWe by 2032. It aims to supply 25% of electricity from nuclear power by 2050.
WNA - Mainland China has 38 nuclear power reactors in operation, about 20 under construction, and more about to start construction. The reactors under construction include some of the world's most advanced, to give a 70% increase of nuclear capacity to 58 GWe by 2020-21. Plans are for up to 150 GWe by 2030, and much more by 2050.
PLATTS - "The domestic uranium mining industry needs US government assistance to survive the foreign onslaught -- particularly from Russia and Kazakhstan -- that has undermined the US uranium industry while new players -- particularly China -- will soon make the situation worse," Energy Fuels and Ur-Energy said in a petition they jointly filed with the department.