A change in the climate

Recent wins by activist shareholders to pressure US majors like ExxonMobil do more on climate change and emissions clearly point to producers facing growing pressure to act going forward.

At its annual shareholder meeting in Dallas this week, ExxonMobil’s chief executive Rex Tillerson had a blunt response when shareholder Michael Crosby, an ordained minister, asked the company to invest in alternative and renewable sources of energy.  Continue reading

Posted in Oil

Cash is king

If there was a common management philosophy from executives at US independent oil and gas producers from their quarterly earnings calls, it was this: Make sure you spend less than you make.

When crude prices were near $100/bl, US producers focused on boosting output, often with a heavy reliance on debt issuance. Now, with a prolonged weakness in oil, cash has become king as producers work to repay their debt and meet expenses. Taking more debt isn’t so much of an option any more as debt-to-capital ratios worsen across the board.  Continue reading

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Beware the looming clouds

For US independent producers getting ready to make hay on the back of a recovery in crude prices and fall in services costs, industry captains are issuing a warning: the storm hasn’t yet cleared so beware the looming clouds.

The world’s biggest independent oil and gas producer ConocoPhillips said the current price weakness would be prolonged if too many producers ramp up output. “I do think that [a rise in output] potentially starts to exacerbate” the current market situation, chief executive Ryan Lance said. “The possibility is there.”  Continue reading

Posted in Oil

The mantra changes? Maybe

A little over a month ago when oil was near six-year lows, the survival mantra for US producers was simple: hunker down and wait it out.

But within the short span of a few weeks, the gloom and doom outlook is getting replaced by one of optimism, accompanied, of course, by a large dose of caution, recent commentaries of chief executives and senior management suggest.  Continue reading

Posted in Oil