oil prices and equity market volatility grind energy deals to a halt at less
than $1B in M&A, total Q1 upstream deal value falls to historic low
Oil & Gas 360, Closing Bell, April 2, 2020
Enverus, the leading oil & gas SaaS and data analytics company, has released its Q1 summary of M&A activity, which revealed a substantial collapse as oil prices plunged to 18-year lows. Only $770 million in U.S. upstream deals were completed during the first quarter of 2020—less than one-tenth of the ~$8 billion average for Q1 from 2010-2019. Virtually all deal activity occurred before the global COVID-19 pandemic and production hike from Saudi Arabia slammed markets in early March.
“There is no question that one of the hardest hit industries—and one of the most critical to Alaska—is the oil and gas sector,” Murkowski wrote. “Producing companies and the businesses that contract with them are being impacted not only by the market demand shock from the coronavirus, but also the Russia-Saudi Arabia power struggle against American energy. The President has stressed the importance of supporting industries with employees and footprints across the country. This includes the oil and gas sector, which by one estimate supports more than 10 million American jobs.”
Gas export projects hit by double blow of Covid-19 and industry slump
Editorial, Upstream, April 2, 2020
All eyes were on the oil price this week as West Texas Intermediate blend plunged below the US$20 per barrel mark and reached an 18-year low. But Covid-19 and the Saudi-Russia oil price war are going to have a similarly severe impact on the liquefied natural gas sector. Amid falling investment confidence, there are growing expectations that a swath of new LNG projects will be delayed or scrapped. The developer of the Woodfibre LNG export project in British Columbia, Canada has set back the start of construction to next year, while the ExxonMobil-led Rovuma project in Mozambique and Papua New Guinea LNG expansion are also expected to be delayed.
builds on China’s raw materials supply chains
Andy Home, Reuters/Mining.Com, April 2, 2020
China is ready to move on from the coronavirus and get back to business as usual. “With the spread of covid-19 under control, we should actively carry out the resumption of work and production,” President Xi Jinping said this week. Xi’s comments, reported by state media under the headline “Chinese president unpauses China’s economy”, were made during a tour of Zhejiang province. (CGTN, part of China Media Group, April 2, 2020) As ever, Xi’s whistle-stop tour was an exercise in subliminal messaging. Those comments were made during a visit to an auto parts supplier in the Daqi industrial park in the city of Ningbo. He also dropped in on Ningbo Zhoushan port, one of the world’s busiest, and praised it for getting throughput back to pre-coronavirus levels. The political messaging, however, masks the fragility of China’s metals raw material supply chains.