Bernstein’s energy analysts have looked at the upstream costs for the 50 biggest listed oil producers and found that — surprise, surprise — “the era of cheap oil is over”:
Tracking data from the 50 largest listed oil and gas producing companies globally (ex FSU) indicates that cash, production and unit costs in 2011 grew at a rate significantly faster than the 10 year average. Last year production costs increased 26% y-o-y, while the unit cost of production increased by 21% y-o-y to US$35.88/bbl. This is significantly higher than the longer term cost growth rates, highlighting continued cost pressures faced by the E&P industry as the incremental barrel continues to become more expensive to produce. The marginal cost of the 50 largest oil and gas producers globally increased to US$92/bbl in 2011, an increase of 11% y-o-y and in-line with historical average CAGR growth. Assuming another double digit increase this year, marginal costs for the 50 largest oil and gas producers could reach close to US$100/bbl. Read more
Ali Naimi, Saudi Arabia’s powerful oil minister, has insisted the kingdom will be able to make up for any disruptions to global oil supplies amid mounting tensions over the European embargo on Iran’s oil exports, the FT reports. r Naimi said Saudi Arabia’s ongoing investment in oil production capacity meant it was “able to respond to shortages around the world”. Without naming Iran, he told an audience in London that Saudi Arabia would continue to be a “reliable, steady and dependable supplier of energy to the world”. He cited the example of Libya last year, when the kingdom significantly ramped up oil output to make up for the volumes lost during the north African country’s civil war. His comments came as Iran ramped up its criticism of the Saudis, with a senior Iranian official describing the Saudi royal family as “tyrant rulers”.
Breaking at pixel time — Reuters quoting an Italian government source that ‘informal’ Opec talks have begun on raising output if Libyan supply collapses (only for the Saudi oil minister to deny that Opec will consider extraordinary talks.)
Which is precisely what the supply has been doing (the country’s gas exports aren’t looking too hot either). Italy has every incentive to do something about it of course, given its ample Libyan exposure in both resources. Read more