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  • After a long lull, select “advantaged” resource access rounds are set to advance. Policy shifts in the UK and US have opened a pathway for more predictable resource access, while red-hot Latin America and Caribbean progress with planned offshore rounds. Yet, other governments have largely failed to attract investors through new resource access opportunities, limiting the outlook for licensing rounds through the end of 2022.
    Wed, Sep 28, 2022
  • High oil prices have resulted in a strong change of fortune for Saudi Aramco, posting a record $48.4 billion profit for H1’22. Capex is now slated to increase until 2025, however its commitment to a $75 billion annual dividend may impact spending plans in the event of unforeseen, acute price volatility. Upstream oil and gas will absorb most capital spending, but Aramco’s new targets in renewables, CCS and ammonia, unveiled earlier in 2022, are likely to represent a growing portion of capex. The firm’s focus on petrochemicals and ammonia will be highly dependent on the gas side of its upstream expansion. In downstream, Aramco is growing its international footprint with new agreements moving ahead in Asia and Europe to support diversification and de-risk crude sales. The firm also has a significant number of energy transition milestones to reach by the year 2030 (coinciding with the national Vision 2030 initiative).
    Mon, Sep 19, 2022
  • Competitive Intelligence Research is pleased to offer the new Emissions Monitor to clients. The Excel-based report provides detailed reported emissions data and emissions reduction targets for key oil and gas operating companies, covering both IOCs and NOCs. Included in this twice-yearly Emissions Monitor: Scope 1+2 Total GHG Emissions data, Upstream Operational GHG Intensity data, Scope 3 End-Use GHG Emissions data, and key Company Emissions Targets displayed in tables and charts.
    Tue, Sep 13, 2022
  • High-impact drilling is on the rise, with the number of discoveries in the first half of 2022 outpacing all of 2021. This renewed exploration focus is expected to continue into 2023, with companies buoyed by higher oil and gas prices, targeting both new and traditional plays in upcoming drilling plans. Advantaged plays in Brazil, Guyana/Suriname Basin, USGOM and North Sea continue to draw the bulk of company activity, but a number of high-impact frontier plays are on our radar. In the US, the recent Inflation Reduction Act helps reduce policy uncertainty for future leasing and exploration activity.
    Mon, Aug 29, 2022
  • 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
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