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  • QatarEnergy’s choice of partners for its North Field Expansion is broadly in line with industry expectations, despite the absence of Asian firms expected to join the project’s first and largest phase. TotalEnergies, Exxon Mobil and Shell each received a greater equity stake in the larger expansion project than other partners, further underscoring the importance of Qatar’s existing relationships. For Qatar’s European joint venture partners, additional LNG equity capacity augments gas-centric transition strategies, while US firms get additional resource base diversification.
    Thu, Jul 7, 2022
  • Upstream M&A activity in the second quarter of 2022 reached $20.8 billion, showing continuing signs of sluggishness from the prior quarters. Emerging recession fears, alongside geopolitical uncertainty and continued corporate capital restraint, likely impacted the spotty deal flow. North American deals accounted for 70% of quarterly values, with several high-value deals across a variety of play types. Private equity is driving the bulk of transactions, and we expect durable deal flow here and in the North Sea as private capital seeks creative options beyond deferred IPOs. We see looming downside macroeconomic risk to prices that could stunt near-term M&A activity, but also plenty of supply-side support for higher-for-longer prices bolstering asset valuations.
    Wed, Jul 6, 2022
  • Host governments have yet to seize upon higher oil prices and energy security concerns to advance a new wave of resource access opportunities, with a limited outlook for licensing rounds in H2’22. Regular annual rounds in Canada, Australia and Norway are expected to continue on pace, while regulatory uncertainty in the US continues to impact the offshore lease sale schedule and other rounds delayed by the pandemic have yet to launch. The exception may be Latin America, where direct negotiations and open rounds have continued to draw investor interest. Brazil successfully held a third cycle of its open round process, and a new open round cycle expected later this year that includes pre-salt acreage should attract existing operators. Guyana and Suriname have planned bid rounds, seizing upon increased investor interest as regional discoveries accumulate.
    Wed, Jun 8, 2022
  • Ecopetrol is undertaking important strategy shifts, unveiling a new transition-oriented 2040 strategy in Q1’22 following its $3.45 billion purchase of Colombian state-owned transmission firm ISA. The Colombian NOC has increased planned capex by nearly 50% to $5.2 billion-$6.0 billion annually for renewed exploration and low-carbon opportunities. Setting 2050 net-zero S1-S2 targets, and notably, 50% S3 emissions reductions gives Ecopetrol one of the most ambitious emissions targets among NOCs. Offshore exploration in the Colombian Caribbean is becoming a more acute priority as the onshore resource base wanes, and while regional upstream investments are already a priority, it may take on greater importance if political change upends Colombia’s regulatory and fiscal environment.
    Mon, Jun 6, 2022
  • QatarEnergy is advancing its LNG expansion, which has taken on a new global relevance in light of European efforts to reduce Russian gas imports. Faced with an unprecedented chance to grow its share of Europe’s gas market, the NOC must now market its low-cost and low-carbon credentials against competing volumes from the US. Although QatarEnergy touts the competitiveness of its LNG volumes due to low production costs and carbon intensity, its supply agreements must remain competitive with evolving buyer requirements. QatarEnergy has still not announced partnership awards for the North Field East expansion, a process that has been subject to multiple delays. The company also continues to build out its decarbonization strategy, which was updated in 2022 with expanded targets on emissions, renewable power and CCS capacity.
    Thu, May 26, 2022
  • Eni is managing an ambitious, transformational corporate strategy to meet future low-carbon requirements, while also flexing investment and output to meet current energy market needs. The company was already a leader in setting 2050 net-zero and absolute S3 emission goals, and has an upgraded target of 35% reduction of absolute scope 1,2,3 emissions by 2030 and 80% reduction by 2040. At the same time, Eni is managing a robust near-term upstream project pipeline, delivering 3% output growth through 2025 with natural gas set to play a larger role in the resource mix. Exploring new business models and satellite companies are integral to Eni’s near-term strategy, and the forthcoming IPO of its “Plenitude” renewables company is an important bellwether for the integrated business model.
    Wed, May 18, 2022
  • The Russia-Ukrainian war has greatly impacted near-term oil and gas prices, while also elevating supply concerns across many European nations. Energy security is back in focus and we continue to watch for government policy developments that will encourage new exploration and resource development. Upstream capex growth is also on our radar. Unlocking upstream capital budgets, including exploration spend, will need to align with investor demands for capital discipline and greater low-carbon spending, despite a positive earnings season. Exploration activity, for now, is limited to the handful of anticipated 2022 campaigns in key advantaged plays.
    Mon, May 9, 2022
  • TotalEnergies is posting record cash flow on the back of higher energy prices. Surging electricity and LNG prices also support the company’s new integrated multienergy approach. Improved financial metrics allowed Total to increase capex for 2022 to $14 billion-$15 billion, and hike longer-term guidance from 2023-26 to $13 billion-$16 billion per year. Russian sanctions have not yet severely impacted its overall corporate strategy, even though it is arguably the most exposed of foreign partners given its strategic partnership in Novatek, equity stakes and offtake volumes. The company plans to maintain upstream output levels in the immediate term. It will leverage short-cycle projects—which it defines as payback in two years—concentrated in West Africa. Pre-salt Brazil and deepwater Guyana and Africa, including the Venus-1 Namibia discovery, offer future upside.
    Mon, May 2, 2022
  • Upstream deal flow in the first quarter of 2022 was sluggish— totaling only $19.4 billion—likely a reaction to volatile commodity prices, geopolitical uncertainty and ongoing capital discipline. US shale consolidations topped the quarterly deal charts, with the combination of Bakken pure-players Oasis Petroleum and Whiting Petroleum worth $3.9 billion. Three other $1 billion+ deals helped push total North American deal flow to $14.8 billion. Other notable upstream M&A deals this quarter include ongoing portfolio rationalization. Price uncertainty and broader market volatility, including demand downside, are likely to weigh on near-term investor M&A decisions, even if companies showcase boosted quarterly earnings in the coming weeks. We expect investor demands for capital discipline to hold, along with ongoing deal selectivity in deal flow.
    Thu, Apr 21, 2022
  • Higher oil prices and energy security considerations arising from the Russia/Ukraine conflict have yet to result in a new wave of resource access opportunities. Resource holding governments had been racing to entice E&P investment last year, but new licensing rounds and other opportunities slowed in Q1’22. Currently open rounds in Trinidad, Brazil, Mozambique and soon Angola could garner higher investor interest as companies reassess near-term energy security strategies and Russian exits. Of the recently closed rounds, in Brazil, Egypt and Norway, consolidation of positions remains the trend—with bidders keeping to established areas of operations.
    Thu, Mar 31, 2022
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