U.S. OIL PRICE: $45
FITCH, OILPRICE - Fitch Ratings anticipates most investment-grade and 'BB' category U.S. E&P companies will see minimal ratings changes in a steady $45 per barrel environment as the realization of further production efficiency gains and lower costs per barrel of oil equivalent (boe) should contribute to resilient margins and cash flow.
"Most U.S. E&P companies will continue to see production profile gains and lower costs per barrel of oil equivalent through a combination of reduced drilling days, improved wellbore placement, expanded multi-well pad drilling, longer laterals and higher intensity completions, which should help offset market price pressures," says Dino Kritikos, Senior Director, U.S. Corporates. "Oilfield services credits would be most pressured."
These topics and others were discussed on a recent investor tour throughout California, New York and Chicago, including:
--Onshore oilfield services inflation risk: Most U.S. E&Ps should be able to offset rising prices with production and efficiency gains;
--Canadian heavy oil in a lower-for-longer scenario: Lower cost nature of mining provides more cash flow resiliency compared to the higher cost, lower operating flexibility of in situ;
--Capital allocation prioritization of exploration: Lower medium-term priority given U.S. shale's lower operational risk, favorable growth opportunity, relatively deep drilling inventory and improving unit economics. However, risk tolerance is expected to expand as U.S. shale matures;
--Increased gas-on-gas competition: Increasing Appalachian, Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana production is expected to increase gas-on-gas competition given the bulk of demand is Gulf Coast centric, which could reduce the upside in benchmark prices and potentially introduce some regional demand-induced differentials;
--Offshore driller recovery: Fitch believes it will be protracted and the inflection point will happen around second half of 2018 (2H18). Jack-up market to experience a utilization uptick first, but competitive environment is expected to make day rate gains elusive;
--Colorado E&P outlook: Less likely than states to incite major ballot initiatives or regulation given the positive impact the industry has on the local economy in terms of job creation and taxes. However, sustained activity disruptions could be a credit risk for names with focused exposure;
--Impact of a PDVSA default: Fitch believes that CITGO entities have sufficient structural and legal separations from the Venezuelan oil giant to protect its assets and support creditor recovery. However, Fitch believes the equity pledge to PDVSA bondholders and Rosneft increase CITGO refinancing risk through the introduction of change of control issues.
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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."
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,
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.
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.