• 3 minutes This Battery Uses Up CO2 to Create Energy
  • 5 minutes Shale Oil Fiasco
  • 9 minutes Don't sneeze. Coronavirus is a threat to oil markets and global economies
  • 12 minutes Historian Slams Greta. I Don't See Her in Beijing or Delhi.
  • 8 hours Boris Johnson taken decision about 5G Huawei ban by delay (fait accompli method)
  • 14 hours Governments that wasted massive windfalls
  • 12 hours Let’s take a Historical walk around the Rig
  • 14 hours We're freezing! Isn't it great? The carbon tax must be working!
  • 1 day Trump has changed into a World Leader
  • 14 hours Here is Why People Lose Money Trading Natural Gas
  • 1 day Beijing Must Face Reality That Taiwan is Independent
  • 39 mins Tesla Will ‘Disappear’ Or ‘Lose 80%’ Of Its Value
  • 12 hours US Shale: Technology
  • 16 hours 2nd Annual Great Oil Price Prediction Challenge of 2019
  • 22 hours Trump capitulated
  • 2 days Yesterday POLEXIT started (Poles do not want to leave EU, but Poland made the decisive step towards becoming dictatorship, in breach of accession treaty)

Betting On A Survivor

Offshore

Around three years ago, in June of 2014, oil began a spectacular collapse. After rising to the point where WTI was fetching over $100 a barrel and holding that psychologically important level for a few months, the market turned. Six months after the rout began the price of a barrel of oil had halved, leaving a lot of companies in a lot of trouble. The hardest hit businesses in the industry were small exploration and production (E&P) companies. Even those that saw it as an anomaly rather than a new normal had worked on assumptions that seemed reasonable or even quite conservative at the time but proved disastrous very quickly. From that point, planning on a long-term average price of around $80 per barrel and borrowing and investing accordingly looked like a too conservative plan if anything.

As prices collapsed, however, even those companies faced a serious problem. Debt levels that looked manageable with oil at an average of $80 now became serious burdens. That situation was worsened by the fact that much of the borrowing had been done to finance land and mineral rights lease purchases that were now essentially worthless. There is no point having a right, and in many cases an obligation, to drill on land where the oil and gas cost more to get out of the ground than you can expect to get for it in the market.

I retell this history, as distressing as it is for most energy investors, to make a point about companies that have survived to this point. Many of them…




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News