BHP’s fresh punt on Bass Strait

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 13 & 20 : 3-Jul-20

BHP is one of several companies that provided funding for a 11,500sq km seismic survey in Bass Strait. This has prompted speculation that BHP may be hoping to make a new gas discovery as a prelude to divesting its 50 per cent stake in the Bass Strait joint venture. ExxonMobil is pressing ahead with plans to sell its stake; some observers believe that BHP’s non-operating stake could be more appealing to prospective buyers, and that it could potentially secure a deal before ExxonMobil.

CORPORATES
BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, EXXONMOBIL CORPORATION

Aussie gas spurs Shell’s $12bn hit

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 13 & 19 : 1-Jul-20

Macquarie expects more companies in Australia’s energy sector to announce writedowns in the second half of 2020, in the wake of the sharp fall in the crude oil price. Global energy giant Shell has advised of impairment charges of up to $US22bn; this includes a writedown of between $US8bn and $US9bn on its gas business, primarily due to its gas projects in Australia. The price of Brent crude is trading at around $US40 a barrel, and Macquarie notes that Australian energy producers typically use a price of $US70 to $US75 a barrel for impairment testing purposes.

CORPORATES
ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC, SHELL COMPANY OF AUSTRALIA LIMITED, MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG

More may exit NW Shelf, Woodside warns

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 13 & 17 : 25-Jun-20

Woodside Petroleum director Ann Pickard says the North West Shelf joint venture worked very well at first, but the competing interests of the six partners have progressively gotten in the way. She says other partners could opt to join Chevron in selling out of the LNG venture, given that the NWS plant is set to begin processing third-party gas as the project’s reserves run down. Former Woodside CEO Don Voelte says Shell and BP could potentially sell their NWS stakes.

CORPORATES
WOODSIDE PETROLEUM LIMITED – ASX WPL, NORTH WEST SHELF LNG PTY LTD, CHEVRON CORPORATION, BP PLC, ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC

NW Shelf shake-up looming

Original article by Perry Williams
The Weekend Australian – Page: 21 & 22 : 20-Jun-20

Former Woodside Petroleum CEO Don Voelte says a new model for the $34 billion North West Shelf LNG plant that would see it process gas for other firms may not suit some of its current owners. Woodside is one of six joint-venture partners who own the plant, but Chevron has decided to sell out of the plant, and BP and Shell could follow suit. Voelte says he would not surprised to see more selling of assets by major oil firms; he notes that Exxon is currently trying to sell its interest in the Bass Strait assets. He says asset sales have always been part of the majors’ strategy, but they would not get as much now as they would now.

CORPORATES
WOODSIDE PETROLEUM LIMITED – ASX WPL, CHEVRON CORPORATION, BP PLC, ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC, EXXON CORPORATION, BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP

Importing LNG cheaper

Original article by Mark Ludlow
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 3 : 11-Jun-20

Jemena MD Frank Tudor says a gas pipeline linking Western Australia to the east coast is not a viable option, as the cost of transporting gas across the country would be prohibitive. He argues that a proposed LNG import terminal at Port Kembla would be much more cost-effective than the $6bn transcontinental pipeline that has been put forward by the National COVID-19 Coordination Commission. Jemena plans to link its eastern gas pipeline to the import terminal.

CORPORATES
JEMENA LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. NATIONAL COVID-19 COORDINATION COMMISSION

Santos warns of sovereign risk in energy sector

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 16 : 20-May-20

Santos CEO Kevin Gallagher has stressed the need for Australia to create the ‘right investment environment’ to attract new capital in the post-coronavirus world. He has urged governments to ensure a free market environment for the nation’s energy producers so they are globally competitive. Gallagher has also expressed concern that increased sovereign risk in Australia has contributed to moves by major international producers to divest their local assets.

CORPORATES
SANTOS LIMITED – ASX STO

Canberra, refiners talk fuel security

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 16 : 8-May-20

Federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor has held talks with Caltex, Viva Energy, ExxonMobil and BP about increasing the amount of oil they store in Australia. Taylor flagged plans to establish a domestic oil reserve earlier in 2020, when the government spent $94m on a strategic fuel reserve in the US. Caltex’s acting CEO Matt Halliday has told a conference that the coronavirus pandemic has put the issue of fuel security on the agenda, while Viva Energy CEO Scott Wyatt said demand for petrol is rising as lockdown restrictions begin to ease.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF INDUSTRY, SCIENCE, ENERGY AND RESOURCES, CALTEX AUSTRALIA LIMITED – ASX CTX, VIVA ENERGY GROUP LIMITED – ASX VEA, EXXONMOBIL AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, BP AUSTRALIA LIMITED

Our global LNG leadership is under threat

Original article by Dennis Shanahan
The Australian – Page: 4 : 8-May-20

A report from Wood Mackenzie has warned that the nation’s status as the world’s biggest LNG exporter is at risk. The report, which was produced on behalf of the Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association, notes that increased regulation, the downturn in the oil price and growing international competition in the sector are among the threats facing the local industry. Wood Mackenzie adds that any changes to the LNG industry’s tax regime could deter future investment in the sector.

CORPORATES
WOOD MACKENZIE, AUSTRALIAN PETROLEUM PRODUCTION AND EXPLORATION ASSOCIATION LIMITED

Oil crash threatens to sink industry

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 13 & 20 : 23-Apr-20

Shares in Australian oil and gas producers were sold down on 22 April, as the global oil glut and falling demand continued to weigh on the crude oil price. The price of Brent crude oil reached a low of US15.98 a barrel, and Citigroup expects it to fall below $US10. The firm expects Brent to average $US17 a barrel during the June quarter. Coal-seam gas industry executive Richard Cottee says a significant production cut may be needed to boost the crude oil price.

CORPORATES
CITIGROUP PTY LTD

Energy companies face huge asset writedowns

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 13 & 14 : 20-Apr-20

The price of Brent crude oil is trading at around $US28 a barrel. Energy industry sources have warned that Australian oil and gas producers may have to announce significant full or half-year impairment charges if the oil price remains subdued for the remainder of 2020. Allan Gray Australia Simon Mawhinney says $U30 a barrel is not sustainable for the industry. Futures market pricing suggests that the long-run oil price may average $US44 a barrel until 2023.

CORPORATES
WOODSIDE PETROLEUM LIMITED – ASX WPL, SANTOS LIMITED – ASX STO, OIL SEARCH LIMITED – ASX OSH, BEACH ENERGY LIMITED – ASX BPT, ALLAN GRAY AUSTRALIA PTY LTD