The shale gas and fracking boom in America’s oil industry is attracting ever more private equity money, with funds signing three times the value of energy deals in 2011 compared to 2010, the WSJ reports. Overall deal-making in the sector rose seventeen per cent in 2011, by contrast. Oil & gas explorers need ever more capital for complicated drilling techniques to open up shale fields, offering handsome windfalls to PE investors along the way. However, the risks of entering the industry in the late stages of its boom, and amid a trough in gas prices, may store up trouble for funds.
Oil and gas drilling in Arctic waters off Alaska faces further delays, while areas in the eastern Gulf of Mexico and off the US southern Atlantic coast will remain off-limits, the government said on Thursday, sparking criticism from industry groups and Republicans the FT reports. Reversing its proposals from March – before the Deepwater Horizon disaster – that would have opened more coastline for oil and gas development, the department of the interior said it would not sell any exploration leases in the eastern gulf or southern Atlantic at least until 2017.
First there was the London loophole. Now, it appears, the development of another entirely new loophole is underway. Let’s call it the physical loophole.
From Intercontinental Exchange CEO Jeffrey Sprecher’s Tuesday testimony to the CFTC on the matter of position limits and the influence of speculators on the price of commodities: Read more
The oil giant’s numbers look good at first glance, but upon closer inspection there is still much work to be done.
It all looks fairly rosy, until you peer more closely into the numbers. The challenge that BP faces is common to all oil companies: how to balance its books when oil prices are low, while spending on projects that replenish its reserves and keeping investors happy by maintaining the dividend. To that end, chief executive Tony Hayward wants to make the group cashflow neutral at a $60 oil price. To do that, Mr Hayward has already chopped out an impressive amount of costs — $2bn over the past six months. Even so, he has not yet got BP to where it needs to be. Read more
The International Energy Agency has posted its recent report on the impact of the financial crisis on global energy investment on its website. The analysis was first submitted to the G8 Energy Ministerial meeting in Rome last weekend, but the charts and detailed commentary are worth a closer look.
The agency’s conclusions are most neatly summed up in the following table: Read more