Energy & Commodities

Clean Energy Is Doomed Without More R&D Spending

Late last year, a study by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) looked into exactly how much it will take to meet the climate change goals set by the Paris Agreement. The report, composed by the United Nations consortium of hundreds of climate scientists from around the world, found that if the world has any hope of reaching the climate change cutoff set by the Paris Agreement, the international community will have to transition to 100 percent clean energy by the middle of the century.

In the Paris Agreement (which polls show that most U.S. citizens still support, even after President Donald Trump backed out of the agreement in 2017) 186 countries agreed to cap still-rising global temperatures to less than 2° Celsius by 2100, with a goal of limiting warming to just 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels. This is a serious challenge, the grand dimensions of which are made all the more clear by the IPCC’s findings…CLICK for complete article 

Commodities Are Having A Stellar Year

Commodities were on mostly sound footing in the first half of 2019. The S&P GSCI returned more than 13 percent as of June 30, one of the best first six months in recent memory. It was not without its challenges, though.

In a repeat of last year, crude oil was the top-performing commodity, up 28.76 percent as of June 30. Price action was driven mostly by tensions in the Middle East as well as extended supply cuts by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies. Global growth concerns began to put pressure on oil in April, but prices surged following June’s attack on two tankers near the Strait of Hormuz, for which the U.S. blamed Iran….CLICK for complete article

Fracking in California is About to Get a Lot More Difficult

Last week, California Governor Gavin Newsom sacked the state’s top oil regulator after the Desert Sun reported that fracking permits in California doubled in the first six months of this year without the Governor’s knowledge. The Desert Sun report was based on data from FracTracker Alliance and Consumer Watchdog, two organizations that keep tabs on the industry.

“The Governor has long held concerns about fracking and its impacts on Californians and our environment, and knows that ultimately California and our global partners will need to transition away from oil and gas extraction,” Governor Newsom’s chief of staff Ann O’Leary said in an email to California’s Secretary of Natural Resources.

The Desert Sun, based on data from the consumer advocacy groups, also reported that top officials with the Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) held investments in the oil and gas companies that they regulated. Roughly 45 percent of the permits went to companies that officials held stocks in, according to the watchdog groups. At the same time, nearly two dozen officials hired at the agency under former Governor Jerry Brown came from oil companies that have a presence in the state….CLICK for complete article

An Unexpected Boon For Alberta’s Oil Producers

Alberta light oil producers have been decimated over the last few years, and especially so in the last nine months following the “blow up” in the Canadian light oil differential in Q4/2018 to over $30 a barrel.

This extreme widening in the differential has added to the woes of an industry still reeling from the impact of the 2014 oil collapse and has prompted Alberta’s government to take the rare step of imposing…Click here for full article

The World’s First Trillion Dollar Oil Company Has A Big Problem

China’s biggest oil and gas producer PetroChina—the first company in the world to reach a US$1-trillion valuation more than ten years ago—is now so cheap that it is worth less than the value of its oil and gas reserves.

PetroChina is listed in Hong Kong, Shanghai, and New York. It has been trading in Hong Kong and New York since 2000, a year after its parent, China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), created it by transferring most of the upstream assets to the new company.

PetroChina’s H-shares traded in Hong Kong give the company a current enterprise value of the equivalent of US$169 billion, while analysts at Bernstein have estimated that its proven oil and gas reserves in the ground are worth US$208.7 billion, Bloomberg reports.

Typically, no energy company should ever trade below the value of its reserves in the ground, because a premium to the resources value implies that a firm has growth potential to develop those resources, Bernstein told Bloomberg.

PetroChina, however, is currently the exception to the rule, as its enterprise value/reserves value ratio is now below 1—at 0.801, the lowest among 25 large oil and gas companies around the world that Bernstein tracks. PetroChina is also the only one of those 25 firms with a lower enterprise value than the value of its reserves….CLICK for complete article

Increasingly Weak Demand Outlook Caps Oil Prices

Oil demand continues to soften, which could result in a supply surplus in the second half of this year.

In its latest Short-Term Energy Outlook, the EIA downgraded its forecast for global oil demand growth to just 1.1 million barrels per day (mb/d) this year, down from the 1.2 mb/d the agency forecasted last month and from 1.4 mb/d in May.

What a difference a month makes. The souring economic picture now means that inventories could actually increase by 0.1 mb/d, the agency said in its latest report. In other words, even with the OPEC+ cuts extended, the oil market could remain in a state of surplus throughout this year and next….CLICK for complete article