Santos stalks wounded Oil Search

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 13 & 16 : 21-Jul-21

Allan Gray Australia’s MD Simon Mawhinney says the board of Oil Search must engage with Santos after the latter revealed on 20 July that it had proposed an all-scrip merger in late June. Oil Search rejected the offer of 0.589 new Santos shares for each of its shares, arguing that it represented a premium of just 6.8 per cent. Mark Samter of MST Marquee agrees that Oil Search directors should have engaged with Santos regarding the bid. Meanwhile, the position of Oil Search chairman Rick Lee is under scrutiny after he told an investor briefing on 19 July that it had not received any takeover approaches. Oil Search subsequently issued a clarification.

CORPORATES
OIL SEARCH LIMITED – ASX OSH, SANTOS LIMITED – ASX STO, ALLAN GRAY AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, MST MARQUEE

CCS critical to attract investment: Santos

Original article by Angela Macdonald-Smith
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 22 : 9-Jul-21

Santos hopes to make a final investment decision on its proposed $210 million carbon capture and storage project in South Australia by the end of September. The project will have the potential to capture 1.7 million tonnes of carbon a year, and Santos contends that will be the lowest-cost CCS project worldwide. CEO Kevin Gallagher contends that Australia has a competitive advantage when it comes to CCS, and that making the most of this will be vital when it comes to the resources sector continuing to attract overseas investment.

CORPORATES
SANTOS LIMITED – ASX STO

Price gap may trigger wave of oil, gas M&A

Original article by Angela Macdonald-Smith
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 12 & 14 : 7-Jul-21

Mark Busuttil of JP Morgan believes that some Australian-listed energy producers could become takeover targets due to the growing gap between oil and gas prices and their share prices. Potential targets could include Oil Search, Cooper Energy, Senex Energy and Carnarvon Petroleum. Busuttil says Beach Energy could potentially make a bid for Cooper Energy or Senex Energy, while he suggests that offshore players ExxonMobil and Total would be most likely to target Oil Search.

CORPORATES
OIL SEARCH LIMITED – ASX OSH, COOPER ENERGY LIMITED – ASX COE, SENEX ENERGY LIMITED – ASX SXY, CARNARVON PETROLEUM LIMITED – ASX CVN, EXXONMOBIL CORPORATION, TOTALENERGIES SE

Energy giants hit with $1bn clean-up tax

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 13 & 18 : 30-Jun-21

APPEA CEO Andrew McConville warns that the federal government’s proposed levy on the nation’s offshore oil and gas industry will be a major disincentive for investment in the sector. The levy of $0.48 per barrel on offshore production would be used to help meet the cost of decommissioning the Northern Endeavour floating platform and associated oil fields in the Timor Sea. The levy would take effect on 1 July and is expected to cost about $367m a year, and potentially up to $1bn in total. A key criticism of the levy is the fact that it would apply to energy producers that had no exposure to the Northern Endeavour project.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN PETROLEUM PRODUCTION AND EXPLORATION ASSOCIATION LIMITED

Producers fight industry oil levy

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 17 : 10-Jun-21

It will cost taxpayers some $47.4m to maintain the Northern Endeavour in 2020-21, according to the federal government’s Budget papers. Meanwhile, oil and gas producers will lobby against a proposed industry levy to help finance decommissioning and remediation costs associated with the offshore oil production vessel in the Timor Sea. Some industry players believe that the Northern Endeavour’s former owner Woodside Petroleum should bear the cost; in 2015 it sold the vessel to Northern Oil & Gas Australia, which subsequently went into administration.

CORPORATES
WOODSIDE PETROLEUM LIMITED – ASX WPL, NORTHERN OIL AND GAS AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

Shell keen for all options in the NW Shelf gas hunt

Original article by Angela Macdonald-Smith
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 13 & 20 : 10-Jun-21

Shell Australia chairman Tony Nunan says the energy giant is still open to processing LNG from the Scarborough gas field via the North West Shelf venture’s Karratha gas plant. Shell one of six partners in the NW Shelf project, along with Woodside Petroleum. The latter’s acting CEO Meg O’Neill says the Karratha plant is not suitable for processing ‘dry’ gas from Scarborough. Woodside instead plans to process the gas at a new processing train at its Pluto LNG plant near Karratha. Some analysts believe that the NW Shelf project’s declining output may force several of its five LNG trains to close down in coming years.

CORPORATES
SHELL COMPANY OF AUSTRALIA LIMITED, ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC, WOODSIDE PETROLEUM LIMITED – ASX WPL, NORTH WEST SHELF LNG PTY LTD

Mega projects have a future: Woodside

Original article by Perry Williams, Paul Garvey
The Australian – Page: 13 & 16 : 9-Jun-21

The Western Australian government has approved Woodside Petroleum’s proposed expansion of the Pluto LNG project, subject to a number of conditions. Woodside will be required to reduce carbon emissions at the LNG plant by 30 per cent by 2030, while the project must become carbon-neutral by 2050. The expanded plant will process gas from the Scarborough gas field; Woodside’s interim CEO Meg O’Neill contend that the company can both develop Scarborough and meet its carbon reduction targets, given that the gas field contains almost no carbon dioxide.

CORPORATES
WOODSIDE PETROLEUM LIMITED – ASX WPL

Levy sparks alarm in energy industry

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 19 : 13-May-21

Industry body APPEA has expressed concern about the federal government’s proposed levy on the nation’s offshore oil and gas industry. The Budget measure will help fund the cost of decommissioning the Northern Endeavour floating platform and the associated Laminaria and Corallina oil fields in the Timor Sea. APPEA Andrew McConville says other options should be considered, warning that the levy is a "terrible precedent" that could adversely affect the domestic economy and jobs in the oil and gas sector.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN PETROLEUM PRODUCTION AND EXPLORATION ASSOCIATION LIMITED

Shell plunges to $6bn loss as virus hits

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 13 & 16 : 26-Apr-21

Shell Australia has posted a full-year loss of $US4.9bn ($6.3bn), compared with a loss of just $US661m previously. The latest financial result was marred by a $US6.2bn writedown of the energy giant’s Australian operations due to a sharp fall in the crude oil price in 2020. The Prelude floating LNG venture was the primary cause of the big writedown. Australian LNG producers have now incurred combined writedowns of more than $25bn in the wake of the pandemic.

CORPORATES
SHELL COMPANY OF AUSTRALIA LIMITED, ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC

Forrest’s LNG import vital to avoid shortfall

Original article by Angela Macdonald-Smith
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 7 : 29-Mar-21

Andrew Forrest’s proposed LNG import terminal at Port Kembla in New South Wales is tipped to inject up to 500 terajoules of gas into the domestic market per day, beginning in January 2023. Nicola Falcon from the Australian Energy Market Operator says the project comes at a critical time, with current gas production in Victoria falling at a faster rate than was previously forecast. The Port Kembla project is expected to cost in the vicinity of $250 million and is one of six LNG import projects being flagged for NSW, Victoria and South Australia.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN ENERGY MARKET OPERATOR LIMITED