Shell plunges to $6bn loss as virus hits

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 13 & 16 : 26-Apr-21

Shell Australia has posted a full-year loss of $US4.9bn ($6.3bn), compared with a loss of just $US661m previously. The latest financial result was marred by a $US6.2bn writedown of the energy giant’s Australian operations due to a sharp fall in the crude oil price in 2020. The Prelude floating LNG venture was the primary cause of the big writedown. Australian LNG producers have now incurred combined writedowns of more than $25bn in the wake of the pandemic.

CORPORATES
SHELL COMPANY OF AUSTRALIA LIMITED, ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC

Smaller loss may not spare embattled Lytton refinery

Original article by Lachlan Moffet Gray
The Australian – Page: 19 : 15-Jan-21

Ampol will still undertake a review of its Lytton refinery in Brisbane, despite the facility posting a lower-than expected loss for 2020. The refinery’s loss for the calendar year was $20m lower than the consensus forecasts of analysts, at $145m on a replacement cost of sales operating profit basis. The refinery produced 3.469 billion litres of fuel during 2020, compared with 5.8 billion litres in 2019. Ampol has cautioned that the economic outlook in 2021 remains uncertain due to the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on demand for fuel.

CORPORATES
AMPOL LIMITED – ALD

Refinery rescue deal to safeguard fuel stocks

Original article by Ben Packham
The Australian – Page: 5 : 14-Dec-20

The federal government is set to announce a rescue package for the Lytton, Geelong and Altona oil refineries to ensure that they remain operational until mid-2021. The refineries will receive a payment of at least $0.01 per litre for their petrol, diesel and jet fuel production over the six months from 1 January. Energy Minister Angus Taylor says the government is finalising a long-term market mechanism for the production payment, which is slated to take effect from 1 July. The future of Australia’s three remaining refineries has come under scrutiny following BP’s recent decision to close its Kwinana plant.

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

Santos sticks to gas, earmarking $1bn for Narrabri development

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 16 : 2-Dec-20

Santos CEO Kevin Gallagher says the oil and gas producer will not diversify into renewable energy or electricity generation. He contends that global demand for fuels will remain strong for a long time, while gas will play a major role in reducing carbon emissions over coming decades. Meanwhile, Santos expects to make a final investment decision on its Narrabri gas project in the first half of 2023, with the first phase of its development slated to cost $US650m. Santos has also advised that its Barossa LNG project will cost significantly less to develop than initially forecast.

CORPORATES
SANTOS LIMITED – ASX STO

More pain for BP after decision to shut Kwinana refinery

Original article by Perry Williams, Nick Evans
The Australian – Page: Online : 2-Nov-20

Energy Minister Angus Taylor will hold meetings with the operators of the three remaining oil refinery operators in the week beginning 2 November. This follows the announcement by BP on 30 October that it plans to close its Kwinana refinery in Western Australia, with Taylor’s meetings coming amid fears that Australia’s entire oil refining industry could be gone within 12 months. The three remaining refineries are located at Lytton in Brisbane, and at Geelong and Altona in Victoria, and are operated by Ampol, Viva Energy and ExxonMobil respectively. The closure of Kwinana will see 600 people lose their jobs, while BP is in the process of shedding around 200 additional jobs, most of which are office roles.

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

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