Good times
1 January 2005
The high oil price has proved a boon for the US majors. But increased revenues does not automatically translate into a ratcheting-up of E&P spend, writes James Gavin
Bad, but no Enron
1 May 2004
A matter of principles
1 April 2004
The developers of any major project must put the project?s impact on the environment at the heart of its thinking or risk its failure, writes Catherine Elkin, project-finance lawyer
Getting the price right
1 January 2004
As the majors prepare to release 2004 capital expenditure (capex) plans, corporate strategists look less likely than ever to stick to conservative base-case oil-price assumptions of old – whatever they say in public. James Gavin reports
The state of things to come
1 December 2003
Venturing into a new world
1 December 2003
Faced with a rapidly growing deficit on domestic oil and gas production, the Chinese authorities have embarked on a strategy of acquiring equity in foreign exploration, development and producing assets, especially in friendly countries in the region, reports Derek Bamber
Majors surf oil price wave
1 September 2003
Contractors bid themselves into a hole
1 August 2003
Times are tough for contractors to the oil and gas industry – competition is intense and margins are threadbare, especially on fixed-price Epic contracts. Operators are having a field day, but contractors are hunting for ways to boost their bottom lines. Low profits are also in danger of inhibiting investment in the innovation that Shell’s chairman, Philip Watts, says is essential for the future. Nigel Ash reports
Dark cloud lingers over merchant energy industry
1 August 2003
The US energy-trading industry has suffered two years of upheaval and trauma. The high-profile collapse of Enron and the aftermath of the California electricity crisis forced several companies to take desperate financial measures – for some it was too little, too late. Anne Feltus reports
Profits bubble could burst
1 August 2003
After an exceptionally good 2002 for insurance brokers, carriers and underwriters, in terms of profitability, insurance buyers in the energy sector are fighting back. Some firms are reducing some types of cover, while others are dropping some lines altogether. They appear to be winning concessions, Derek Bamber reports
Plenty of action
1 June 2003
With the collapse of Andersen and its attendant reorganisation of the sector, new US legislation – designed to prevent another accounting scandal – problems in the UK power sector, asset swaps in the North Sea, the revival of Russia and the financial problems of Latin America, it has been a busy year for most accountants. And it seems certain to stay that way
Buoyant in hard times
1 June 2003
Power sector distress in the UK and US kept many energy lawyers busy last year, as did increased activity in LNG projects and upstream asset-swaps around the world. Looking ahead, there are hopes for new business from west Africa, Russia and the Middle East, including post-war Iraq. David Townsend reports
Wheeling and dealing for elephants
1 May 2003
When, in August 2001, Lundin Oil was sold to Canada’s Talisman Energy for $400m, it was generally agreed it was a good deal for the Lundin shareholders. It was also agreed it was probably one of the best deals done by the legendary deal-maker, and founder of the company, Adolf Lundin, in his drive to find a genuine elephant oilfield. The company’s chairman, Ian Lundin, talks to Derek Bamber
Statoil: exploring new areas
1 April 2003
Statoil, the Norwegian oil and gas group, was partially privatised almost two years ago, but claims its main policies have not changed. David Townsend recently spoke to the company’s president and chief executive officer, Olav Fjell, about the impact of the sale and his strategy for the group
Profits bounce back in Q4
1 March 2003
With oil prices strengthening through most of the fourth quarter of last year, most oil companies were able to book substantially better upstream profits than achieved in the earlier part of the year. But that throws more pressure back onto the already suffering refining and marketing sector, reports Derek Bamber