Future of refinery hangs in balance

Original article by Angela Macdonald-Smith
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 19 : 15-Oct-20

Viva Energy’s Geelong refinery in Victoria has posted a loss of $30m for the September quarter, following a loss of nearly $50m in the first half of 2020. Viva will seek to boost cash flow at the refinery by reducing or deferring non-essential spending at the plant. The federal government’s $2.5 billion fuel security package may be crucial to the future of the refinery. Viva will provide an update on the outlook for the plant in December.

CORPORATES
VIVA ENERGY GROUP LIMITED – ASX VEA

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

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

Caltex investors back Ampol rebirth

Original article by Angela Macdonald-Smith
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 19 : 15-May-20

Some 99.8 per cent of Caltex Australia’s shareholders have supported a resolution to change its name to Ampol. The company aims to complete the rebranding of its petrol stations by the end of 2022. Caltex’s interim CEO Matt Halliday has noted the impact of coronavirus-induced travel restrictions; he says that convenience retail fuel volumes fell 16 per cent year-on-year in the 12 months to April, while demand for jet fuel has fallen by up to 90 per cent. Caltex is still looking to sell a 49 per cent stake in a portfolio of petrol stations, via an IPO or a trade sale.

CORPORATES
CALTEX AUSTRALIA LIMITED – ASX CTX

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

Caltex dusts off Ampol brand

Original article by Nick Evans
The Australian – Page: 13 : 24-Dec-19

Caltex Australia will relaunch the Ampol fuel brand after US-based Chevron Corporation advised that its licence to use the Caltex brand will be terminated. Caltex will have three years to complete the rebranding of its petrol stations, with the process slated to begin within six months. The Ampol brand was established in 1936, but it was phased out when the company merged with Caltex in 1995. Chevron recently acquired fuel retailer Puma Energy Australia for $425m.

CORPORATES
CALTEX AUSTRALIA LIMITED – ASX CTX, CHEVRON CORPORATION, AMPOL LIMITED, PUMA ENERGY (AUSTRALIA) HOLDINGS PTY LTD

Oil Search boosts Alaska oil outlook

Original article by Angela Macdonald-Smith
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 20 : 19-Dec-19

Oil Search has upgraded the 2C contingent resource estimate for the Pikka oil project in Alaska to 728 million barrels following an independent assessment. This is 46 per cent higher than Oil Search had estimated when it acquired its stake in the project in 2018; the company’s share of the 2C contingent resource has been increased from 127 million barrels to 371 million barrels. Oil Search and its joint venture partners expect to make a decision on the commencement of front-end engineering and design work in early 2020.

CORPORATES
OIL SEARCH LIMITED – ASX OSH, JP MORGAN AUSTRALIA LIMITED