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

Industry job losses prove gas-led recovery is failing: Report

Original article by Rod Myer
The New Daily – Page: Online : 25-May-21

The federal government is calling for a gas-led economic recovery, but the Australia Institute claims the gas industry has reduced staff during the recovery from the pandemic. The Institute states the gas industry only employs 42,000 people, and that the sector has shed 3,800 jobs since May 2020. Institute chief economist Richard Dennis claims that if the rest of the economy had declined at the same rate as the gas industry since then, total employment would have fallen by 1.3 million. However, Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association CEO Andrew McConville claims the gas industry currently contributes $62 billion to the economy and around 13 per cent of exports

CORPORATES
THE AUSTRALIA INSTITUTE LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN PETROLEUM PRODUCTION AND EXPLORATION ASSOCIATION LIMITED

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

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

Utility companies have a significant consumer distrust problem

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 18-May-20

As part of its extensive, continuous measurement of consumer trust and distrust in Australia, Roy Morgan tracks 44 brands in the Utilities sector: gas, electricity and water providers. The latest results for March 2020 show the amount of distrust felt towards Utilities brands as a group significantly outweighs the trust they generate, resulting in the industry falling deep into Net Distrust territory – ranked 22nd of 25 industry sectors. This finding will undoubtedly concern many in the sector, particularly with federal and state energy watchdogs monitoring providers more closely than ever, given the number of customers now experiencing financial hardship. There are exceptions among the 44 brands being tracked: Red Energy, Aurora and Simply Energy are all trusted brands, while Alinta Energy has a neutral score. But some of Australia’s biggest energy brands are its most distrusted.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED, RED ENERGY PTY LTD, AURORA ENERGY PTY LTD, ALINTA ENERGY (AUSTRALIA) PTY LTD

Potential $50b wave of gas M&A deals around the corner

Original article by Angela Macdonald-Smith
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 27 : 30-Aug-19

David Low of Wood Mackenzie says mergers and acquisitions activity in Australia’s oil and gas sector could increase in coming years. He identifies Cooper Energy and Senex Energy as being among the smaller companies that could become takeover targets, while Oil Search could also potentially attract suitors following its recent share price weakness. Low adds that international companies such as ConocoPhillips and Eni could opt to divest some or all of their assets in Australia.

CORPORATES
WOOD MACKENZIE, COOPER ENERGY LIMITED – ASX COE, SENEX ENERGY LIMITED – ASX SXY, OIL SEARCH LIMITED – ASX OSH, CONOCOPHILLIPS, ENTE NAZIONALE IDROCARBURI SPA, COMET RIDGE LIMITED – ASX COI, GALILEE ENERGY LIMITED – ASX GLL, WOODSIDE PETROLEUM LIMITED – ASX WPL, SANTOS LIMITED – ASX STO, QUADRANT ENERGY PTY LTD

APA shares plunge after Canberra blocks CKI buy bid

Original article by Matt Chambers, Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: Online : 9-Nov-18

Shares in APA Group fell by 10 per cent on 8 November after Treasurer Josh Frydenberg indicated his "preliminary view" on Hong Kong-listed CK Infrastructure’s $13 billion bid for the pipeline operator. Frydenberg stated he did not consider the bid to be in the "national interest"; he is expected to make his final decision in around two weeks. Superannuation fund infrastructure investor IFM is seen as the local entity most likely to make an approach to APA with a bid if Frydenberg’s views remain unchanged; any Australian-based bid for APA is expected to be lower than CKI’s

CORPORATES
APA GROUP – ASX APA, CHEUNG KONG INFRASTRUCTURE HOLDINGS LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, IFM INVESTORS PTY LTD, WOOD MACKENZIE, COOPER ENERGY LIMITED – ASX COE, DUET GROUP, MOODY’S ANALYTICS AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

BHP chair happy with portfolio

Original article by Matt Chambers
The Australian – Page: 26 : 21-Sep-18

Analysts who attended BHP Billiton’s recent briefing in London say chairman Ken MacKenzie gave strong indications that the petroleum division is still regarded as a core asset. However, he signalled that further exploration success will be needed for BHP to remain in the sector. BHP’s petroleum division faces a decline in production in coming years as key gas and oil fields become depleted. MacKenzie also told analysts that BHP may be open to retaining its Nickel West assets due to growing demand for batteries.

CORPORATES
BHP BILLITON LIMITED – ASX BHP, UBS HOLDINGS PTY LTD, NICKEL WEST

Hanson warns against bid for gas pipelines

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 19-Sep-18

Cheung Kong Infrastructure’s $13 billion takeover of pipeline operator APA Group remains subject to approval by the Foreign Investment Review Board. However, One Nation leader Pauline Hanson opposes the deal, arguing that key infrastructure should remain locally-owned, whether by governments or the private sector. Hanson has vowed to campaign against the deal if it receives government approval, while Liberal senator Jim Molan has also called for the deal to be blocked.

CORPORATES
APA GROUP – ASX APA, CHEUNG KONG INFRASTRUCTURE HOLDINGS LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. FOREIGN INVESTMENT REVIEW BOARD, ONE NATION PARTY, LIBERAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, IFM INVESTORS PTY LTD, HUAWEI TECHNOLOGIES COMPANY LIMITED, CENTRE ALLIANCE

Watchdog to rule on CKI’s takeover of APA

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: Online : 13-Sep-18

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission has approved CK Infrastructure’s $13 billion takeover of pipeline operator APA Group. The merger creates a massive pipeline company with significant infrastructure assets on both sides of the country. The Foreign Investment Review Board must now give its consent for the Hong Kong-based CKI’s bid at a time when there is a lot of political scrutiny over high gas prices. JP Morgan expects that the FIRB will approve the bid, while UBS anticipates a decision by 4 December, the date on which the transaction is due to take place.

CORPORATES
CHEUNG KONG INFRASTRUCTURE HOLDINGS LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, APA GROUP – ASX APA, AUSTRALIA. FOREIGN INVESTMENT REVIEW BOARD, JP MORGAN AUSTRALIA LIMITED, UBS HOLDINGS PTY LTD, TRANSURBAN GROUP LIMITED – ASX TCL, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY