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

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

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

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

Oil Search eyes $1bn raising

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 16 : 7-Apr-20

Shares in Oil Search have been placed in a trading halt until 14 April, pending an announcement regarding a capital raising. The oil and gas producer is expected to raise at least $1bn to strengthen its balance sheet in the wake of a sharp fall in the crude oil price. The slump has weighed on Oil Search’s shares, which have fallen in value from more than $7 at the start of 2020 to just $2.73, reducing its market capitalisation to $3.89bn. The new shares may offered at around $2 apiece.

CORPORATES
OIL SEARCH LIMITED – ASX OSH

Santos sailing steady ship but gas delay on horizon

Original article by Perry Williams
The Weekend Australian – Page: 28 : 4-Apr-20

Oil and gas group Santos remains confident that its $3.6bn Narrabri gas project in New South Wales will receive state government approval, but it has conceded that this may not occur before mid-2020 due to the pandemic. Meanwhile, Santos chairman Keith Spence has told the group’s annual meeting that it has no plans to undertake a capital raising at present, despite the recent slump in the crude oil price. Santos has already delayed several growth projects.

CORPORATES
SANTOS LIMITED – ASX STO

Oil M&A looms as Woodside clears decks; FAR in trouble

Original article by Angela Macdonald-Smith
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 & 22 : 31-Mar-20

James Byrne of Citibank is among the analysts who expect Woodside Petroleum to seek acquisitions after putting its key growth projects on hold. He notes that the oil and gas group has $US4.9bn in cash and $US7.9bn in liquidity, and it may be prepared to temporarily lose its BBB+ credit rating if the right acquisition emerges. Meanwhile, Far Limited has advised that the sharp decline in the crude oil price in recent months means that it cannot finalise new debt facilities to finance its share of the Woodside-led Sangomar oil project in Senegal.

CORPORATES
WOODSIDE PETROLEUM LIMITED – ASX WPL, FAR LIMITED – ASX FAR, CITIBANK PTY LTD

Gas pressure rises as Asian demand cools

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 17 & 20 : 17-Feb-20

Australian LNG producers are facing a tougher trading environment in 2020, according to the Australian Energy Regulator, with Asian buyers seeking better deals and reducing the volumes they purchase. Australia supplied 49 per cent of China’s LNG needs in 2019, but demand for LNG in China in 2020 may now only increase by four per cent, compared to a previous forecast of 13 per cent. However, falling Asian LNG spot prices could be good news for Australian gas consumers, according to the AER, as it gives them more bargaining power when striking short-term gas deals with gas exporters.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN ENERGY REGULATOR

Outdated tax gives LNG away for free

Original article by Patrick Commins
The Australian – Page: 4 : 10-Feb-20

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has downplayed speculation that the federal government will make changes to the Petroleum Resources Rent Tax. However, Jason Ward from the Centre for International Corporate Tax Accountability & Research says changes to the PRRT are needed as it was originally designed for the oil industry, and Australia’s booming LNG industry means the tax is no longer "fit for purpose". The nation is now the world’s biggest exporter of LNG.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, CENTRE FOR INTERNATIONAL CORPORATE TAX ACCOUNTABILITY AND RESEARCH, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY