This week in energy was dominated by the predictions from two top energy sources – OPEC and the International Energy Agency.
On the one side you had OPEC, which is meeting on November 30th to decide the fate of production guidelines going forward. It might be no surprise, in advance of that meeting that they would upgrade their view of the global demand picture and they did – seeing at least their share of demand increasing by more than 400,000 barrels a day. This prediction would bode very well for the Saudi/OPEC strategy of continued restrictions on production going forward.
On the opposite side was the IEA, whose World Energy Outlook reduced their forecast for oil demand to a ‘mere’ 1.5m barrels a day increase in 2018 – a number that’s already historically huge, but a reduction from a forecast they had in fact increased – two times already – in 2017. More impactful, perhaps, was their longer-term forecast of global energy use. Despite their robust call for a 30 percent increase in total energy demand to 2040, they somehow managed to discount the role that crude oil was likely to play in fulfilling that demand.
Whether I buy the IEA’s prognostication skills 20+ years into the future given their helpless track record or not – (I don’t) – the WEO was blamed for a sell-off in oil futures in the last week.
Let’s discount these reports for the moment. This sell-off was more likely a result of the huge influx of hedge fund and other speculative account long positions that had accumulated in the last weeks, a negative trend I spotted and pointed out in last week’s column.
The most important question to answer is of course: What now?
It has been my position during the last several months that oil is making its way towards a new bull market and the predictive analyses do nothing to alter that position. Indeed, the one fundamental piece of news that might slow down my enthusiasm for oil isn’t related either to the IEA’s WEO report nor the overeager buying of hedge funders – it is the unsettling increase of a net nine rigs from the Baker-Hughes report of November 10th, including seven fresh drilled from the Scoop/Stack. Whether this is a trend that will creep rigs upwards again – something I definitely wasn’t expecting through the end of the year – is something that bears watching for the next several weeks.
But until that trend is definitively upended, every dip must be viewed as a buying opportunity.
And here I invite you to look at some of the names that might have rocketed upwards and might have become too expensive to enter – now moderating slowly to more appetising levels.
You know I am not your broker and will not deliver names you must buy and prices at which they must be bought. But I again will voice my preference for independent Permian shale names that have core acreage that’s proven to be profitable at $55 a barrel, with decent financials.
Many names will come to mind, including Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD), Concho Resources (CXO), Cimarex (XEC), EOG Resources (EOG) – and other smaller cap names like SM energy (SM) Centennial Resources (CDEV), Matador (MTDR) and Jagged Edge (JAG).
Until our thesis is broken, these are the places to look to take advantage of a market that I believe is just taking a small break from its inevitable upwards climb.
Source: Oilprice Report for 17/11/17
NLNG Spends $30bn On Gas Plants, Infrastructure In Bonny
The Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Company (NLNG) has invested over 30 billion US dollars (N10.8 trillion) to build gas facilities and other infrastructures in Bonny Island, Rivers, an official said.
Managing Director of NLNG Mr Tony Attah disclosed this yesterday at the end of week-long activities marking the company’s 20/30 Anniversary Celebration.
The Tide reports that NLNG used the occasion to celebrate its 20 years of operation in Bonny and 30 years of incorporation as a company.
The NLNG, Attah said, invested parts of the huge sum to build gas plants, known as Train 1, 2, 3,4, 5 and 6 as well as the ongoing construction of another Train 7 project.
“NLNG’s combined scale of investment in Bonny Kingdom is more than 30 billion dollars in assets, making it the most developed community in the Niger Delta.
“Our several accomplishments in the kingdom, ranged from our provision of modern road network, potable water and Finima Nature Park to residents of Bonny.
“Also, we invested in electricity that perhaps has made Bonny the only community in Nigeria with 99 per cent electricity and a preferred investors and tourist destination,” he said.
Attah further said the company has completed construction of Airstrip that could receive more than 60-passenger capacity aircrafts, making it one of the largest airstrip in Africa.
He said the company has provided N60.3 billion counterpart funding for the construction of N120.6 billion 34 kilometre Bonny-Bodo road project connecting Bonny Island to rest of the country.
“The ongoing road project, which we are co-sponsoring with the Federal Government, is expected to be completed within 48 months, thus triggering development and tourism in the area.
“We have also launched the malaria elimination initiative as well as the Bonny Community Health Insurance Programme in conjunction with Rivers State Government to provide affordable healthcare for the people.
“The company achieved these milestones due to the cordial and peaceful relationship existing between Bonny and Nigeria LNG in the last 20 years,” he added.
The managing Director later laid foundation for the reconstruction of Bonny Consulate Building, a historic building once used by slave merchants to transport slaves abroad.
Attah said the building would be equipped with a museum, library, movie hall, radio station, cafe, seminar/exhibition hall, souvenir shop and offices.
NNPC Tasks NLNG Shareholders On Production Capacity
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has challenged shareholders of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) to work towards expanding the production capacity of the company beyond Train 7.
The Group Managing Director of NNPC, Malam Mele Kyari, gave the charge in a statement signed by the Acting Spokesman for the corporation, Mr Samson Makoji in Abuja, last Friday
Kyari spoke during the signing ceremony of a 2.5 billion dollar pre-payment agreement between NNPC and NLNG for upstream gas development projects to supply gas to NLNG Trains 1 – 6.
He said the agreement would help to resolve the issues around gas supply to Trains 1 – 6, adding that there was need to fast-track action on the process of bringing more trains on stream.
He noted that though NLNG had been a huge success as a company, it must go beyond its current achievements and initiate other viable projects capable of generating better return on investment.
“Actually, our thinking should be on what else we can do or what other projects we can work on as quickly as possible to take advantage of the enormous potential in the country.
“ There is also the need for us to take advantage of what is happening in the global market and do things very differently.
“There are opportunities there and our company must move into those locations and we must move fast,” he added.
The GMD said the pre-payment gas supply agreement was a milestone which aligned with the Federal Government’s aspirations of monetising the nation’s enormous gas resources.
He added it would also help in protecting the Federation’s investment in the NLNG, ensuring full capacity utilization (22mtpa LNG and 5mtpa NGLs) of Trains 1-6 plants, generating employment, and providing new vistas of growth opportunities in the nation’s LNG sector.
Earlier in his address, the Managing Director of NLNG, Mr Tony Attah, noted that the signing of the gas supply pre-payment agreement was a significant step towards ensuring the company’s business sustainability and competitiveness.
He called for support to ensure that the Final Investment Decision on the Train 7 Project would be taken in 2019 without failure.
He added that the project was no longer an ambitious one in the light of developments in the global LNG market.
The signing of the gas supply pre-payment agreement was witnessed by the Country Chairman of Shell Companies in Nigeria, Mr Osagie Okunbor, and representatives of Total, Eni/NAOC, among others.
FG Launches Operation White To Check Fuel Diversion
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, has launched the “Operation White” project geared toward ensuring transparency and accountability of petroleum product supply and distribution in Nigeria.
Sylva, represented by the Executive Secretary of Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF), Mr Ahmed Boboi, said in Lagos last Friday that the essence was to entrench energy security.
He said it would also deepen the drive for transparency in the downstream operations.
Sylva said the strategic initiative was aimed at deploying adequate measures in ensuring that all molecules of regulated petroleum products imported by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) were well accounted for and utilised.
“NNPC will continue to record excellent performance in product supply and distribution to the nation.
“It is doing what it is supposed to do as supplier of last resort, but the reality is the nation bears a great cost in terms of absorbing the shocks of differences in cost.
“It is critical that all hands be put on deck to ensure that every molecule of product imported into this country is utilised within the borders of this nation for the benefit of Nigerian populace.
“This is a national imperative and a core thrust of Mr President’s mandate for leadership of the oil and gas industry.
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