It was a week when both oil and natural gas prices settled lower.
On the news front, British energy major BP plc BP will take a $17.5 billion write-down in its second-quarter results in the wake of weak commodity prices, while ConocoPhillips COP said that it will restore its oil production on improving fundamentals.
Overall, it was a bearish week for the sector. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures slumped 8.3% to close at $36.26 per barrel, while natural gas prices fell 2.9% for the week to finish at 1.731 per million Btu (MMBtu). In particular, the oil markets reversed their gain from the previous week when the commodity pushed toward $40 a barrel.
Coming back to the week ended Jun 12, the crude benchmark hit a speed bump and recorded a big decline after the U.S. Energy Department’s latest inventory release revealed that crude inventories rose to record highs. Further, Federal Reserve’s dour economic outlook and worries about a second wave of coronavirus infections kept investors on the defensive.
Meanwhile, natural gas ended lower on weak LNG demand and continued oversupply.
Recap of the Week’s Most Important Stories
1. BP has estimated a write-off of up to $17.5 billion from its assets value following the downward revision of its long-term oil and gas prices.
The British energy giant expects the ongoing coronavirus pandemic to persistently hurt global energy demand. Also, the company believes that post COVID-19, there will be growing transition to low-carbon economy since investors are increasingly pressing oil companies to drastically reduce carbon emissions, which is in line with the Paris climate goals.
To incorporate these impacts, BP trimmed its forecast for Brent oil price from $70 per barrel to $55 until 2050. The new price outlook convinced this integrated energy firm to include non-cash impairment charges and write-offs worth $13-$17.5 billion, after tax, in the second quarter.
2. ConocoPhillips has decided to slowly increase production of oil and natural gas since the commodity pricing scenario is improving.
Earlier, the coronavirus-dented global energy demand convinced many energy players to impose production cap by curtailing operations. Now, the improved oil prices have convinced many upstream companies to remove the self-imposed cap and to restart producing from the wells, added ConocoPhillips.
ConocoPhillips has also planned the gradual increasing of production volumes over the next few months. Thus, the explorer, which shut down a third of its production in May and June, will be responding to the surge in oil prices by slowly increasing volumes. (Here’s Why ConocoPhillips is Planning to Raise Production)
3. Shares of QEP Resources, Inc. QEP have skyrocketed 131.5% in the past couple of days following the amendment of its revolving credit facility on Jun 4.
The amendment involves expansion of liquidity by not less than $500 million along with the provision of essential financial flexibility to put into practise its ongoing business strategy. This alteration will be supported by Wells Fargo Bank, National…