BP, Macquarie see a green future for shuttered Australian oil refinery

Original article by Nick Toscano
Brisbane Times – Page: Online : 8-Sep-21

The Western Australian government will partially finance a feasibility study into converting the defunct oil refinery at Kwinana to produce ‘green’ hydrogen. BP announced the refinery’s closure in October 2020; the energy giant and Macquarie Capital will now look into the viability of using the facility to produce hydrogen from renewable energy. WA premier Mark McGowan says that green hydrogen produced at Kwinana could eventually be exported worldwide. Green hydrogen is currently much more expensive to produce than ‘grey’ hydrogen, which is produced using fossil fuels.

CORPORATES
BP PLC, BP AUSTRALIA LIMITED, MACQUARIE CAPITAL PTY LTD, WESTERN AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PREMIER AND CABINET

Woodside investors cautious on deal

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 16 : 19-Aug-21

Allan Gray Australia MD Simon Mawhinney says there are a lot of "unknowns" with regard to Woodside Petroleum’s proposed deal to merge with the petroleum division of BHP. He says the biggest question is just what Woodside investors will gain in return for giving BHP shareholders a 48 per cent stake in the oil and gas producer. Meanwhile, Woodside has posted an underlying net profit after tax of $US354m for the first half of 2021, and revenue of $US2.5bn.

CORPORATES
WOODSIDE PETROLEUM LIMITED – ASX WPL, BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, ALLAN GRAY AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

‘No place to hide’: pressure on Australia to end support for new fossil fuel projects after IPCC report

Original article by Adam Morton, Graham Readfearn
The Guardian Australia – Page: Online : 11-Aug-21

Environmentalists have called for the federal government to halt all new fossil fuel projects in the wake of a new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Kirsty Howey from the Environment Centre Northern Territory says development of gas resources in the Beetaloo basin must not proceed in the wake of the IPCC report; the federal government is providing up to $50 million in funding for exploration in the basin. Andy Paine of Frontline Action on Coal has also urged an immediate halt to fossil fuel projects, including the Carmichael coal mine in Queensland.

CORPORATES
INTERGOVERNMENTAL PANEL ON CLIMATE CHANGE, ENVIRONMENT CENTRE (NT) INCORPORATED, FRONTLINE ACTION ON COAL

PNG hits Santos with log of claims over Oil Search merger

Original article by Angela Macdonald-Smith
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 & 22 : 6-Aug-21

The proposed merger between Santos and Oil Search would have to be in Papua New Guinea’s national interest, says Prime Minister James Marape. He has outlined a number of conditions that may have to be met for his government to approve the deal. They include a commitment to retaining corporate offices in PNG and to continue to employ and train PNG nationals. Saul Kavonic of Credit Suisse says the PNG government may seek to leverage its veto power to secure a better merger deal.

CORPORATES
SANTOS LIMITED – ASX STO, OIL SEARCH LIMITED – ASX OSH, PAPUA NEW GUINEA. OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER, CREDIT SUISSE (AUSTRALIA) LIMITED

Santos could sell PNG gas stake to thwart rival bid: analysts

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 17 : 4-Aug-21

Santos will have a 42.5 per cent stake in the Papua New Guinea LNG project if its proposed merger with Oil Search proceeds. Tom Allen of UBS has flagged the possibility that Santos could reduce its current stake of 13.5 per cent in the project by 10 per cent; he notes that this would align Santos with its joint venture partners and reduce the risk of that a counterbid for Oil Search will emerge. PNG LNG partners ExxonMobil and Total have been touted as potential bidders for Oil Search.

CORPORATES
SANTOS LIMITED – ASX STO, OIL SEARCH LIMITED – ASX OSH, UBS HOLDINGS PTY LTD, EXXONMOBIL CORPORATION, TOTALENERGIES SE

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