Weekly Energy Market Review
This week's notable Canadian economic data from Statistics Canada:
- Canada's trade deficit narrowed to $626 million in June, the smallest deficit since January 2017. Exports rose 4.1% to $50.7 billion, mainly on higher exports of energy products, which rose over 7% to $9.9 billion, the highest since October 2014. Crude oil exports rose 6.6% to $7.2 billion while exports of refined products rose 19.2%. Imports of energy products fell 15% to $2.9 billion, mostly on a 27% decline in imports of refined products.
- Canada added 54,100 jobs in July, much more than expected, lowering the unemployment rate by 0.2 basis points to 5.8%. Gains were mostly in the public sector, and mostly in Ontario and BC. Saskatchewan and Manitoba shed jobs in July, while Alberta lost 22,000 full-time jobs and gained 18,000 part-time positions.
Bond yields declined around the world this week, due to escalating political tensions between the Trump Administration and China, Russia, Turkey, Germany and Iran.
Despite lower US bond yields, the US dollar gained 1.3% this week, finally breaking out of its recent trading range. The Euro and British pound both tumbled this week, falling 1.4% and 1.8%, respectively. The loonie also dropped 1.1%, but managed to remain above 76 cents.
The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) tweaked its price forecast for WTI this week, now forecasting a 2018 average of US$66.21 (up 0.4% from its previous forecast), falling to US$64.34 in 2019 (up 3.7%). Brent prices are expected to average US$71.74 and US$70.58, in 2018 and 2019, respectively. Henry Hub natural gas spot prices were also revised, now forecasted to average $2.96/MMBtu in 2018, rising to $3.10 next year.
In their August Commodities Trends report, Desjardins Securities says it expects WTI to average about US$67 this year, rising to US$70 in 2019. Henry Hub is forecasted to average US$2.85/MMBtu in 2018, rising to $3.10 next year.
The Canadian heavy oil discount widened to a 5-year high this week, topping US$30.50 a barrel for the first time since February, hitting the highs of late 2013. BP's (BP) 414,000 bbl/day Whiting Refinery in the US Midwest, a major consumer of Canadian heavy crude, will begin a shutdown of its crude distillation unit and coker later this month, which is expected to further dent demand for WCS.
After tightening at the end of July, the discount on light Canadian crude also widened this week, sending Canadian Light prices tumbling back to the lows of June.
The EIA has once again revised its forecast for US crude production, now estimating 2018 production to average 10.68 million bbl/day, rising to 11.7 million bbl/day next year, both down about 1% from its previous estimate.
The EIA also says global petroleum stockpiles will likely decline by about 15 million barrels through the remainder of 2018, then rise by 100 million barrels next year.
The US added 10 new oil rigs this week, bringing the total to 869, the highest since March 2015. Canada lost 12 oil rigs, falling to 140.
US equity markets largely ended the week lower, except for small caps and the tech-heavy NADSAQ, both posting small gains for the week. Chinese markets had a good week, all gaining over 2%. Most other global equity markets, including the TSX, ended the week lower.
The Canadian energy services sub-sector had a good week, with most posting gains thanks to better-than-expected Q2 results from Enerflex (EFX), CES Energy Solutions (CEU) and Pason Systems (PSI). Smaller cap producers posted the largest declines due to lower oil prices.
Stateside, midstream players had a good week, helped in part by lower bond yields. Key producers such as Occidental Petroleum (OXY) and Noble Energy (NBL) posted heavy losses after releasing disappointing Q2 results, dragging the E&P sub-sector lower.
This week's Canadian energy news:
- Kinder Morgan Canada (KML) has scheduled a shareholder meeting on August 30th to vote on its $4.5 billion Trans Mountain (TMPL) sale to the federal government, including sunk costs for the expansion project (TMEP). In order to estimate the value of the TMPL assets, TD Securities did a sensitivity analysis assuming TMEP would be up to $1.9 billion over-budget, with a schedule delay of up to 1 year. KML stresses it has not updated cost and schedule estimates for TMEP, last pegged at $7.4 billion, with an estimated in-service date of December 2020. KML's board of directors has unanimously approved the sale and recommends its shareholders do the same, calling the deal "fair and in the best interests of the Company." The vote is widely expected to pass.
- According to Post Media, KML has already started buying pipe and taken on additional staff as it prepares to restart construction on the pipeline expansion. Site prep will begin in Alberta at the end of the month and eastern BC in early September. CEO Ian Anderson says the company is aiming to begin installing pipe in January or February 2019.
- A twitter exchange between Canada's new Foreign Affairs Minister and the Saudi Kingdom has sparked another trade war, this time with the Saudi government vowing to suspend diplomatic ties and block new Canadian business transactions. So far, only Canadian wheat and barley imports have been barred, but some media outlets are reporting that Saudi's pension and sovereign wealth funds have been asked to liquidate Canadian assets. Canada imported about 100,000 bbl/day of Saudi crude in 2017, mostly into the Irving Refinery in Saint John, NB. Although both Canada and the US are major crude exporters, both lack the infrastructure to supply crude into North America's eastern seaboard. However, Saudi's energy minister says crude exports to Canada will not be impacted. SNC Lavalin (SNC), who has a major presence in Saudi Arabia, says they are "studying the possible implications" of the dispute.
- EPC firm Jacobs Engineering (NYSE:JEC) was awarded an engineering contract for Keyera Corp's (KEY) Wapiti Gas Plant Phase Two expansion in Grande Prairie, AB. Phase Two is expected to be completed in mid-2020 at a cost of $150 million, adding 150 MMcf/day of sour gas processing capacity. Jacobs says the work will be supported out of its Calgary office. Value of the contract was not disclosed.
Notable second quarter earnings on the TSX:
- Inter Pipeline (IPL) reported a net profit of $136 million in the second quarter, up 33% from the same time last year. Funds from operations grew 26% y/y to $262 million. Total pipeline throughput volumes averaged 1,377,700 bbl/day, up 4% y/y. The company says its $3.5 billion Heartland Petrochemical Complex continues to track on schedule and on budget.
- Keyera Corp (KEY) posted a second quarter profit of $107 million, up 60% from the same time last year. The company's Gathering and Processing segment was negatively impacted by weak natural gas prices and three maintenance turnarounds during the quarter. 2018 growth capital is expected to be $1.0 and $1.1 billion, including its 50% stake in the South Grand Rapids diluent pipeline. The company also announced a 7% dividend increase, rising to $0.15 per share per month.
- Gibson Energy (GEI) posted a second quarter profit of $14.6 million, up from a $1.9 million loss for the same quarter last year. Revenues rose 24% y/y to $1.76 billion. The company also announced the construction of two new 500,000 barrel storage tanks at Hardisty, a 30% capacity expansion of its Moose Jaw Facility in Saskatchewan and build-out of its recently acquired US gathering infrastructure. As a result, Gibson's 2018 capital budget has been boosted 50% to between $250 and $300 million.
- Ensign Energy Services (ESI) reported a second quarter loss of $36.7 million, up from a $33.8 million loss reported the same time last year. Funds from operations grew 7% y/y to $47.8 million while revenues were reported at $263 million, up 13%.
- Oilfield chemicals provider CES Energy Solutions (CEU) posted second quarter revenues of $284 million, up 20% from the same quarter last year. Net profits doubled to $13.2 million. The company says it is "very optimistic about its prospects for the remainder of 2018 and beyond."
- Enerflex (EFX) posted a 7% decline in second quarter revenues, falling to $405 million. The company says its US bookings were particularly strong, the best since 2014. Canada lagged during the quarter but is beginning to show signs of improvements. Net profits dipped 4% to $20.4 million in Q2.
- Funds from operations at Peyto Exploration (PEY) declined 13% in the second quarter on a 6% drop in production and 5% decline in realized prices. Q2 production averaged 546 MMcfe/day, down 6% y/y due to low oil gas prices, which forced the company to shut-in 15 MMcf/day of gas. Revenues declined 11% to $159.8 million, bringing net profits to $30.4 million, down 24% y/y.
- Enerplus (ERF) posted a 90% drop in second quarter profits, falling to $12.4 million including a non-cash write-down on hedging losses. The company produced 92,883 boe/day in Q2 while full year 2018 production guidance was boosted about 2,000 boe/day to between 91,000 and 93,000 boe/day.
- Drilling data provider Pason Systems (PSI) posted an 8% decline in quarterly profits, falling to $5.5 million, including a $5.8 million loss on foreign exchange. Revenues rose 22% to $68.3 million, mostly on stronger demand from US customers.
- Second quarter revenues at Bonterra Energy (BNE) rose 28% to $67.5 million, on higher oil prices and a 6% rise in production, averaging almost 14,000 boe/day. The company posted a net profit of $8.9 million in Q2, triple the same time last year.
- Paramount Energy (POU) posted a second quarter loss of $134.6 million, versus a profit a $45.3 million for the same time last year. Production rose almost five-fold to 86,741 boe/day due to its merger with Trilogy Energy last fall.
- Camp operator Black Diamond Group (BDI) posted "improved" second quarter results this week, posting a 15% increase in revenues, rising to $42.7 million in Q2. Net losses for the quarter narrowed to $1 million, down from a $7.8 million loss for the same quarter last year. The company says it is seeing higher demand for camp space in all its markets, including Alberta.
Other Canadian investing news:
- Cenovus Energy (CVE) has agreed to sell its Pipestone Business to NuVista Energy (NVA) for $625 million in cash. The assets produce about 8,800 boe/day and include a 39% operated working interest in the Wembley gas plant. Cenovus says it is still evaluating the divestment of more non-core Deep Basin assets. Net proceeds will be used to pay down debt.
- Perpetual Energy (PMT) shares plunged almost 30% this week after the trustee of bankrupt natural gas producer Sequoia Resources attempted to void a two-year-old asset sale. Sequoia purchased most of its gas wells from Perpetual for a "nominal" sum in 2016, but the deal included liabilities related to the future cleanup, estimated at $133.6 million. The company filed for bankruptcy protection last March. The trustee claims Perpetual and its CEO knew the deal would sink the buyer and is seeking $217 million in damages if the well purchase cannot be annulled.
- MEG Energy (MEG) announced the appointment of Derek Evans to the position of President and CEO, effective immediately. Evans spent nine years as the CEO of Pengrowth Energy (PGF) and six years as CEO of Focus Energy Trust. Former MEG CEO Harvey Doerr will return to his role as an independent director of the company.
This week's notable US energy news:
- The Trump Administration has reinstated economic sanctions against Iran, despite opposition from its European allies. The US has vowed to boycott any company conducting business in Iran, sending the country's currency plummeting. Sanctions against importers of Iranian crude take effect on November 4, 2018. The country currently exports about 3 million bbl/day, about half sold to China and India. The US would like to see that number reduced to zero, but analysts are expecting about 1 million bbl/day to be curtailed. The US says sanctions will remain in place until Iran "starts to behave like a normal country." Iran currently produces about 4 million bbl/day.
- A class-action lawsuit has been re-filed on behalf of Anadarko Petroleum (APC) shareholders for the decline in share prices that occurred after an explosion in Firestone, Colorado, that claimed four lives. The amended lawsuit now contains information from a former APC employee who alleges a number of safety violations at the company.
This week's US midstream news:
- Plains All American (PAA) has accelerated the schedule for two pipelines in West Texas in an effort to take advantage of very high demand for crude transport out of the Permian Basin. The 500,000 bbl/day Sunrise expansion, which connects to delivery points in Texas and Cushing, is now expected to go into partial service in Q4/2018. The 670,000 bbl/day Cactus II line, which runs to Corpus Christi, will begin partial service in Q3/2019, with full service targeted by April 2020. Plains also says it is looking at options to increase takeaway capacity out of Cushing and has been selected by Exxon Mobil (XOM) to ship over 1 million bbl/day from the Permian to the Houston area.
- Exxon Mobil (XOM) subsidiary XTO Energy has signed a letter of intent to be a shipper on the proposed Permian Highway Pipeline Project (PHP), for as much as 450 MMBtu/day of natural gas. The US$2 billion project is designed to transport up to 2.0 Bcf/day of natural gas from the Permian Basin to the US Gulf Coast and markets in Mexico. Apache Corp (APA) and EagleClaw have each committed up to 500 MMBtu/day of volumes on the line. PHP is a joint-venture between Kinder Morgan (KMI) and EagleClaw, and is expected to be put into service by the end of 2020. EagleClaw is owned by private-equity firm Blackstone Energy Partners.
- Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) is planning a 100,000 bbl/day expansion of its contentious Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), which brings light Bakken crude from the Williston Basin to a storage hub in Pakota, Illinois. The company says the 500,000 bbl/day line is running over capacity and shippers are seeking more barrels. The company also wants to expand its 140,000 bbl/day Permian Express pipeline, adding another 100,000 bbl/day of export capacity from the Permian to Nederland, Texas. ETP says it could feasibly have 1 million bbl/day of export capacity out of the Permian, which has been plagued by growing supply and insufficient pipeline capacity.
- Federal regulators (FERC) have issued a full stop work order on the construction of the Mountain Valley pipeline, after several permits related to routing on federal lands were voided at the end of July. The 300 mile line would transport 2 Bcf/day of natural gas from West Virginia to the Transco Mainline network, which runs along the eastern seaboard. Operator EQT (EQT) says it "respectfully disagrees with the breadth of the ... stop work order," vowing to continue to work with regulators to sort out the paperwork. Mountain Valley is co-owned by NextEra Energy (NEE), Consolidated Edison (ED), Altagas (ALA) and RGC Resources (RGCO).
- The Trump Administration has doubled tariffs on steel imported from Turkey, rising from 25% to 50%, due to rapid devaluation of the Turkish Lira. The move is likely to put more cost pressures on Kinder Morgan's (KMI) 2 Bcf/day Gulf Coast Express Pipeline, which has already procured Turkish piping. The company says it has already requested a waiver on the US$1.75 billion project, which is expected to be in service by the end of next year. The lira declined another 20% this week after Trump tweeted his dismay over the falling currency, which has been cut almost in half since last fall.
- Apache Corp (APA) and Kayne Anderson Acquisition (KAAC) announced the formation of Altus Midstream Company, a pure play on the Permian basin, worth about US$3.5 billion. Apache will contribute its natural gas and NGL gathering assets, owning 71% of the new company, while KAAC has agreed to contribute US$952 million. KAAC will be renamed Altus Midstream once the deal closes, which will be listed on the NASDAQ.
- Sempra Energy (SRE) announced the formation of a new operating group for its North American infrastructure businesses, to be headed by Carlos Ruiz Sacristán, former chairman of Sempra's Mexican subsidiary, IEnova. Ruiz will report to Sempra CEO Joseph Householder.
- Williams Co (WMB) closed on its acquisition of subsidiary Williams Partners (WPZ) this week, resulting in the delisting of WPZ shares.
Notable US second quarter earnings:
- Independent refiner Andeavor (ANDV) reported second quarter revenues of US$12.5 billion, up almost 60% from the same time last year. Quarterly earnings rose to US$515 million, up from US$40 million for the same time last year. Andeavor's merger with Marathon Petroleum (MPC) is expected to close on October 1, 2018, pending approval from both ANDV and MPC shareholders.
- Murphy Oil (MUR) posted a 21% gain in second quarter revenues, rising to US$618 million in the second quarter of this year. The company produced 171,000 boe/day in Q2, weighted 59% liquids, and boosted full year guidance by 1,000 boe/day to 169,500 boe/day. Murphy swung to a net profit of $45.5 million in Q2, up from a US$17.6 million loss the same quarter last year.
- Occidental Petroleum (OXY) reported a net income of US$848 million in the second quarter, up 67% y/y. Production averaged 639,000 boe/day in Q2, up 8% from the same time last year. Production out of the Permian grew 46% y/y to 201,000 boe/day. The company says it plans to buy back over US$2 billion of its shares over the next 12 to 18 months.
- Net profits at Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD) declined to US$66 million in the second quarter, down from US$233 million for the same quarter last year. The company boosted its 2018 capital spending plans by US$450 million to between US$3.3 and US$3.4 billion, with the added capital allocated to more drilling and completions activities in the Permian region.
- Continental Resources (CLR) swung to a profit of US$242.5 million in the second quarter, up from a US$62.5 million loss for the same time last year. The company also boosted its 2018 drilling plans in Oklahoma, adding another US$400 million to its 2018 capital spending budget. CLR says it plans to exit 2018 at about 325,000 boe/day.
- Second quarter losses at Cheniere Energy (LNG) narrowed to US$18 million in the second quarter, down from a US$285 million loss the same time last year. Revenues rose 24% y/y to US$1.54 billion. The company loaded 33% more LNG volumes in Q2, rising to 222 TBtu.
- Ultra Petroleum (UPL) shares hit a record low this week after the company posted lower operating revenues, falling 10% to US$190 million in the second quarter. The company also lowered its full year production forecast, with third quarter volumes expected to be between 710 and 750 MMcfe/day.
This week's notable US M&A activity:
- Moda Midstream has agreed to acquire the Oxy Ingleside Energy Center Terminal from Occidental Petroleum (OXY) for an undisclosed amount. The terminal is located near the Corpus Christi Ship Channel. The deal includes 2.1 million barrels of crude oil storage, LPG storage and various crude pipeline assets. Moda is owned by venture capital firm EnCap Flatrock Midstream. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
- Occidental also sold its Centurion pipeline and a New Mexico crude oil gathering system to Lotus Midstream, also backed by EnCap Flatrock Midstream. Centurion consists of 3,000 miles of crude oil gathering pipelines extending from New Mexico across the Permian Basin and into Cushing, including two crude oil storage terminals located in Midland, Texas. Financial terms of the deal were also not disclosed.
- Kosmos Energy (KOS) has agreed to acquire privately-held Deep Gulf Energy for US$1.23 billion, including US$925 million in cash and US$300 million in KOS stock. The deal allows Kosmos to expand its footprint in the Gulf of Mexico. The company posted a net loss of US$103 million in the second quarter, including a hedging loss of US$140 million.
- Bonanza Creek Energy (BCEI) announced the sale of about 11,000 net acres in Texas to an undisclosed buyer for about US$117 million. The properties produced 3,000 boe/day in the first quarter of this year. BCEI reported a US$4.9 million profit for the second quarter, on revenues of US$71.9 million.
Around the world this week:
- According to Pakistani officials, Exxon Mobil (XOM) is on the verge of making a massive oil discovery near the country's border with Iran. The government says it believes the new reserves could be larger than Kuwait, which holds about 100 billion barrels of total proved oil reserves. Exxon owns a 25% stake in the offshore field, owned jointly with Italian energy major Eni (E) and the Pakistani government. Pakistan currently imports about 85% of its oil needs.
- Russia's contentious Nord Stream 2 is seeking approval for rerouting around Danish territorial waters, after Denmark's legislators proposed vetoing the pipeline for security reasons. Segments in Sweden, Finland and Germany already have their permits in place. A new routing application would take about 12 months to approve. The original Nord Stream pipeline is already in service, and has been recently under fire by President Trump for bypassing the Ukraine and strengthening ties between Russia and Germany.
- A US federal judge has ruled that Canadian mining firm Crystallex can legally go after Venezuela's Citgo assets in order to recover US$1.4 billion in losses incurred when the Venezuelan government seized its Las Cristinas gold mine more in 2009. Citgo is PDVSA's US refining subsidiary, owning three refineries and a network of pipelines, valued at about US$8 billion. The move is likely to encourage more creditors to make a claim against Citgo, which may force Venezuela to sell or liquidate the business unit. The country currently has about US$65 billion in unpaid bonds.
- More strike action is planned this week for Total's (TOT) oil and gas platforms in the UK North Sea after both sides failed to reach agreement. Total says it will take advantage of the downtime by doing maintenance activities. About 70,000 bbl/day of production could come offline due to the labour dispute.
- BP (NYSE:BP): Upgraded from Buy to Conviction Buy at Goldman Sachs.
- BP Midstream Partners (NYSE:BPMP): Upgraded from Neutral to Overweight at Mitsubishi UFL Financial Group.
- Carrizo Oil & Gas (NASDAQ:CRZO): Downgraded from Accumulate to Buy at Johnsom Rice.
- Devon Energy (NYSE:DVN): Upgraded from Neutral to Buy at UBS.
- Ensign Energy Services (TSX:ESI): Upgraded from Reduce to Hold at GMP Securities and from Sector Underperform to Sector Perform at Scotia Capital.
- Noble Energy (NYSE:NBL): Upgraded from Buy to Neutral at Mizuho.
- Nuvista Energy (TSX:NVA): Upgraded from Sector Perform to Outperform at National Bank.
- Ormat Technologies (NYSE:ORA): Upgraded from Neutral to Overweight at JPMorgan Chase.
- Pason Systems (PSI): Upgraded from Sector Perform to Outperform at National Bank and from Underperform to Neutral at CIBC.
- Trinidad Drilling (TSX:TDG): Upgraded from Hold to Buy at Canaccord Genuity and from Sector Perform to Outperform at National Bank.
- WPX Energy (NYSE:WPX): Upgraded from Ouperform to Strong Buy at Raymond James.
- Advantage Oil & Gas (TSX:AAV): Downgraded from Outperform to Market Perform at Raymond James.
- Bonterra Energy (TSX:BNE): Downgraded from Buy to Hold at TD Securities.
- Cimarex Energy (TSX:XEC): Downgraded from Overweight to Neutral at JPMorgan Chase and from Outperform to Neutral At Credit Suisse.
- CNX Resources (NYSE:CNX): Downgraded from Market Perform to Underperform at Raymond James.
- Extraction Oil & Gas (NASDAQ:XOG): Downgraded from Outperform to Neutral at Macquarie.
- MEG Energy (TSX:MEG): Downgraded from Buy to Hold at Tudor Pickering.
- PDC Energy (NASDAQ:PDCE): Downgraded from Outperform to Neutral at Macquarie.
- RPC (NYSE:RES): Downgraded from Outperform to Market Perform at BMO.
- Sanchez Energy (NYSE:SN): Downgraded from Outperform to Sector Perform at RBC.
- Trinidad Drilling (TSX:TDG): Downgraded from Buy to Hold at GMP Securities.
- Ultra Petroleum (NASDAQ:UPL): Downgraded from Buy to Hold at National Alliance Securities.
- OPEC Monthly Oil Market Report: August 2018
- EIA Weekly Petroleum Status Report released @ 10:30am ET
- June Monthly Manufacturing Survey released by StatsCan @ 8:30am ET
- EIA Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report released @ 10:30pm ET
- June Consumer Price Index released by StatsCan @ 8:30am ET
- Baker Hughes Rig Count released @ 1:00pm ET