Headlamp – Let Pebble process play out; Oil giant shareholders “drowning” in cash from renewables? 

We ask Senator Murkowski to let the Pebble process play out
Lisa Reimers, Ventura Samaniego, Brad Angasan, Anchorage Daily News, October 7, 2019

Perhaps you have seen our ads thanking Sen. Lisa Murkowski for standing up for the permitting process for Pebble. The theme of our ads is “we need jobs” and “we want hope.” While the coastal communities in our region see some benefits from the short commercial fishing season, many in our home communities do not.  Recently, several of our Bristol Bay leaders took to these pages pushing Sen. Murkowski to more be more aggressively involved in the permitting process. We support Sen. Murkowski staying informed and engaged about the Pebble issue. When it comes to the permitting process, we encourage her to help keep it on track. We worry that if Sen. Murkowski inserts herself too far into the Pebble permitting process, it will set a precedent for future resource projects in Alaska. We think we can all agree that Alaska resource development projects engender a fair amount of controversy. This is why we need an objective and transparent permitting process — which is exactly what we have witnessed via the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for Pebble.

Big Oil’s Renewable Shift Seen Flooding Shareholders With Cash
Dan Murtaugh and Sharon Cho, Bloomberg, October 8, 2019

Shareholders of global oil giants will be “drowned” in cash from dividends and buybacks for the next 20 years as the firms shift their capital structure to finance renewable projects, according to Rystad Energy. Majors such as Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. have traditionally had to hoard cash as they looked to their own balance sheets to fund billion-dollar megaprojects, founder Jarand Rystad said at his firm’s annual summit in Singapore. That will change as they gravitate to wind and solar projects, which tap debt markets backed by project financing for as much as 95% of their cost, he said.

ConocoPhillips hikes dividend nearly 40% amid weak oil prices
Jordan Blum, Houston Chronicle, October 7, 2019

ConocoPhillips announced a nearly 40 percent increase in dividend payouts to investors to help instill confidence in the company on Wall Street amid subdued oil prices and a slowing energy sector.  The Houston oil and gas producer said it will increase its quarterly dividends payments 38 percent, to 42 cents per share from 30.5 cents a share. That’s an extra annual cost of about $500 million to the company.  The past 12 months have proven tough on the energy sector and, even with its favored status on Wall Street, ConocoPhillips has suffered as well, seeing its stock value plunge by more than 25 percent over the last year.  To help counteract that downward trajectory, ConocoPhillips is flexing its financial muscle and emphasizing that it will continue to put its shareholders first even in the weaker oil price environment.  In recent years, ConocoPhillips has focused on financial discipline and financial returns, shrinking the company in order to become more efficient and profitable.