Editorial calendar 2018
Petroleum Economist writes features each month based on news from the ground. However, we also plan in-depth features and reports each year to give you a picture of the energy industry beyond the headlines. Take a look at our editorial calendar to see what's coming up.
Oil supply crunch
Market forces, US President Trump's tweets and the latest Opec+ agreement have shaped global supply in recent months. Producers outside of those regions have altered their output in line with a new normal—but the group's meetings later in the year hang over the oil market, with change in the offing. Here, Petroleum Economist will analyse the supply narrative, with a look to the future.
Australia has arisen as one of the foremost producers of liquefied natural gas—and projects continue to come online. Investigating the most up to date intelligence, our on-the-ground journalist will be interviewing some of the most prominent market participants, to drill into the shape the future of Australia's energy economy.
The oil market inspects fluctuations in storage figures on a daily basis. The amount of crude sitting in storage has a huge impact on prices, dictates suppliers' strategies, and more generally provides a unique insight into the state of the market. Here, Petroleum Economist will delve into storage markets—providing comprehensive regional assessments of the state of play.
Gazprom is an energy giant. It holds nearly three-quarters of Russia's gas and 17% of global reserves. Its vast distribution network takes gas to consumers in Russia and more than 30 other countries. But Gazprom has frequently found itself entangled in Russian domestic power politics and Putin's expanded grip on power. PE examines Gazprom's future, as relations between Moscow and Western capitals become strained. Will Europe's dependence on cheap Russian gas ensure that it never seeks to threaten to interrupt Gazprom imports? And will the company, headed by former prime minister Viktor Lubkov, continue its upstream, downstream and marketing expansion?
The departure of supermajors, like Shell and ConocoPhillips, from Canadian oil sands projects over recent years suggested to some analysts that the sector was in decline—because the days when new multi-billion projects were sanctioned were gone. But the departure of the big names has opened the way for smaller ones and set the scene for a new wave of domestically driven growth. New techniques are making Canadian oil sands production more competitive. Operating costs have fallen to levels that weren't conceivable before the downturn. Furthermore, oil sands projects that were sanctioned before the supermajors' departure are reaching completion and will help push Canada's production to 4.5m barrels a day by end-2018, up from 4.1m b/d a year earlier. Even though no new projects have been sanctioned in the past couple of years, the current long-lived and low-decline oil sands facilities will keep Canada in the ranks as a top global oil supplier for decades to come. Downbeat headlines don't tell the whole story.
Global Energy Elite
Renewable energy technology
As the great pivot towards renewables gathers pace, the big question of how to make production cheaper is at the crux of the issue for those in the upstream. Here, Petroleum Economist will be reviewing the latest technologies in development and in action that are devoted to the renewable energy space.
Brazil promises rich pickings. Energy analysts agree that the country offers some of the best prospects for the offshore rig market over the next decade. This is largely because Petrobras has opened up new acreage to international oil companies. Almost overnight in oil and gas terms, Brazil has become the world's biggest market for FPSOs. According to consultancy Wood Mackenzie, there are 13 "floaters" under construction around the world and a further 19 under planning, all of them destined for Brazil.
Finance / M&A
The energy market has changed seismically after the past few decades—with large scale mergers and acquisitions producing new players, and engulfing some of the old guard. And as the oil price has fluctuated in recent times, firms across the market have been forced to look at their financial structures closely in order to seek out a profit. Here, we'll be looking at the changing options for energy, and how those in the market are structuring their balance sheets—both internally and with the external finance providers.
Wintershall sits at the hub of Germany's global crude oil and natural gas endeavours, being the country’s largest internationally active energy producer. The company actively explores for and produces oil and gas in Europe, North Africa, South America, Russia and the Middle East, employing 2,000 people with more than 50 nationalities. Wintershall’s chief executive is Mario Mehren, a position he has held for three years. What is his vision for steering this major company through the challenging period ahead of energy transition? And with the German nuclear industry winding down, will Wintershall be even more active in importing and distributing natural gas from Russia?
One of Russia's most notable energy regions, East Siberia plays a significant role in the country's energy output—and that looks set to continue. Here, we'll look at the region's energy infrastructure, it's future prospects, and what it means for the wider energy economy.
Iran faces its toughest economic and political challenge in decades. The imposition of US sanctions on Iran's oil sector will hit the country's economy far harder than under any previous sanctions regime. Obama's attempts to force traditional buyers of Iranian crude to stop imports are succeeding. Petroleum Economist takes a deep dive, examining Iran's oil export options, its attempts to by-pass the US banking system and the extent to which its indigenous industries—set up by necessity during earlier sanctions—can keep the economy afloat and avert social unrest.
Crude may have remained unaffected by the China-US trade spat, but other US energy imports, such as LPG and LNG have not been so lucky. Nor is the energy industry immune from the conflict's impacts on the wider Chinese economy. The country's oil supply and refining, petrochemicals and power generation fuels sectors are all going through rapid change. We will look at how these factors will play out against both the external and internal tensions affecting the Chinese economy.
The majors in 2019
Confidence that the oil price will remain at its higher levels are growing, as are the coffers of the international oil companies (IOCs). But moving from a focus on cost cutting and efficiencies into a more expansive phase holds risks as well as rewards. We will examine in turn where BP, Chevron, Eni, ExxonMobil, Shell and Total are currently positioned and where their strategies might take them in the next 12 months.
Austria's OMV has been one of the more active players in European energy's M&A space in the past 15 years, even though some of its biggest potential deals have remained unconsummated. Proceeds from divestments have previously been swiftly recycled into new investments, and the firm's most recent major deal was a sale. Petroleum Economist looks at how OMV's strategy has developed, and where it might be headed next.
Private equity in the North Sea
Private equity-backed independent producer Neptune has snapped up the upstream arm of German midstreamer VNG to add to its May 2017 purchase of the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) assets of France's Engie. This is just the latest deal in a trend of private equity investment in acreage in both NCS and UK waters. Petroleum Economist will shine a spotlight on what the value proposition is for these new entrants into what is a mature, but in no way a sunset, hydrocarbon province, and what their ultimate exit strategies might be.
PE Kuwait Forum, Kuwait City