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Oil Majors See Cash Flow Improve Amid Tighter Crack Spread

Friday May 5, 2016

In the latest edition of the Numbers Report, we’ll take a look at some of the most interesting figures put out this week in the energy sector. Each week we’ll dig into some data and provide a bit of explanation on what drives the numbers.

Let’s take a look.

1. Total SA back to pre-2014 cash flow

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- French oil giant Total SA (NYSE: TOT) posted first quarter free cash flow of $1.7 billion, its largest since 2013.
- Impressively, the figure is larger than some of the figures for the company when oil was trading at $100 per barrel.
- Total has performed better than its peers during the three-year downturn, and its latest results are the third consecutive quarter of positive free cash flow.
- Whereas the likes of Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE: RDS.A), Chevron (NYSE: CVX) and BP (NYSE: BP) are still dealing with shaky figures and large debt loads, Total now has the financial firepower to invest in new projects and grow future production.

2. Drilling costs on the rise again

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- The rebound in drilling activity in the U.S. is finally starting to push up costs, suggesting that some of the savings in recent years from the industry will prove to be cyclical.
- The cost of rigs, equipment, well completions, frac sand and other oilfield services are rising again as drilling picks up.
- Reuters estimates that drilling costs have climbed by 7…

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