Crude Pulls Back from Yearly High on Robust U.S. Production

Friday, March 15, 2019


The energy sector is poised for a mixed to higher start, supported by higher U.S. stock index futures which were driven by positive signs regarding trade talks between the U.S. and China while oil prices retreated after hitting fresh 2019 highs earlier this morning. Elsewhere, trading volumes will be elevated reflecting today’s quadruple witching and index rebalancing.

Oil prices on both sides of the Atlantic pulled back after hitting new yearly highs this morning as worries about the global economy and robust U.S. production put a brake on gains. "The market is still torn between economic concerns and high U.S. oil production on one hand and remarkable OPEC+ compliance on the other. The latter is greatly aided by unplanned cuts in production," PVM oil broker Stephen Brennock said.

Natural gas futures eased on forecasts for moderating weather and declining heating demand over the next two weeks.


(Late Thursday) Reuters - The Amberjack pipeline system, which can carry about 350,000 barrels per day (bpd) from the U.S. Gulf of Mexico to refiners in Texas and Louisiana, has been restarted after an outage on Wednesday. Chevron has restored all production at its Jack/St. Malo, Tahiti, Big Foot and Genesis oil facilities.


Reuters - Eni promised investors richer pickings on Friday through a buyback and fatter dividend after pledging strong growth in cash flow over the next four years. In its new plan the major announced a four-year buyback programme with an initial allocation of 400 million euros this year and a 3.6 percent rise in its dividend to 0.86 euros in 2019.

Reuters - Eni sets dividend of €0.86 per share, +3.6% versus 2018, and €400 million share buyback in 2019. The company sees net zero upstream carbon emissions by 2030.

(Late Thursday) Reuters - Total plans to keep the gasoline hydrotreating unit (HTU) at its 225,500 barrel-per-day (bpd) Port Arthur, Texas, refinery shut for a month of planned upgrades. The 50,000 bpd gasoline hydrotreater was shut on Monday for the work.


Press Release - Imperial said it has slowed the pace of development of its Aspen in situ oil sands project given market uncertainty stemming from Alberta government intervention and other industry competitiveness challenges. Imperial’s view remains that free markets work and intervention sends a negative message to investors about doing business in Alberta and Canada. The company remains concerned about the unintended consequences of the government’s decision to manipulate prices, including the negative impact on rail economics.       


(Late Thursday) Press Release - EP Energy reported a $3.70 diluted net loss per share and $0.13 adjusted loss per share for the quarter ended December 31, 2018. The reported net loss for the fourth quarter of 2018 was $919 million, versus a $72 million net loss in the same 2017 period, which is primarily due to non-cash impairment charges. Adjusted EBITDAX for the fourth quarter 2018 was $195 million, up from $181 million in the fourth quarter of 2017, due to higher oil volumes, lower cash costs and higher realized pricing on oil physical sales.


Press Release - Surge Energy confirmed that a cash dividend to be paid on April 15, 2019 in respect of March 2019 production, for the shareholders of record on March 31, 2019 will be $0.008333 per share.

(Late Thursday) Press Release - Whitecap Resources announced that a cash dividend of Cdn. $0.027 per common share in respect of March operations will be paid on April 15, 2019 to shareholders of record on March 31, 2019. This dividend is an eligible dividend for the purposes of the Income Tax Act (Canada).


(Late Thursday) Press Release - Fluor announced that its LAX Integrated Express Solutions (LINXS) joint venture team broke ground today on the Los Angeles International Airport’s (LAX) Automated People Mover project for Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA). Fluor and its partners are set to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the $4.9 billion project over the next 30 years. The project is scheduled to be completed in 2023.

Jefferies upgraded Oceaneering International and Keane Group to ‘Buy’ from ‘Hold.’

Jefferies upgraded Superior Energy Services to ‘Hold’ from ‘Underperform.’

Jefferies downgraded Schlumberger to ‘Hold’ from ‘Buy.’

(Late Thursday) Press Release - U.S. Silica announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has confirmed several additional patent claims covering fundamental aspects of technology owned by its SandBox Logistics business unit, continuing to validate the strength of the SandBox patent portfolio. These wins mean that Proppant Express Investments, LLC (PropX) is judicially barred from making the same or similar invalidity arguments in any future infringement proceedings involving these patents.


Jefferies downgraded Helmerich & Payne and Precision Drilling to ‘Hold’ from ‘Buy.’


Reuters - Delek reported scheduled work on flue gas bundle at Big Spring, Texas Refinery. The flue gas bundle has an annual outage for repair and co boiler will be taken offline during the maintenance event. Delek reported measures to follow standard operating procedures to shutdown and start-up the effected FCCU units.

(Late Thursday) Reuters - Valero Energy restarted the coker at its 335,000-barrel-per-day (bpd) Port Arthur, Texas, refinery on Thursday. The 100,000-bpd coker was shut on Tuesday along with the 75,000-bpd AVU-147 crude distillation unit (CDU) and 45,000-bpd 942 hydrocracker by a malfunction. Valero began restarting the coker on Wednesday.


Press Release - TransCanada announced that it does not intend to exercise its right to redeem its Cumulative Redeemable First Preferred Shares, Series 7 on April 30, 2019.


U.S. stock index futures rose, taking their cues from global markets, as sentiment improved on positive signals over U.S.-China trade talks and a vote by UK lawmakers to delay the British exit from the European Union. Gold rose as the dollar dipped against its rivals before a U.S. central bank meeting next week. Oil surrendered earlier gains. Data on manufacturing output and job openings are scheduled later in the day.


Nasdaq Advisory Services Energy Team is part of Nasdaq's Advisory Services -- the most experienced team in the industry. The team delivers unmatched shareholder analysis, a comprehensive view of trading and investor activity, and insights into how best to manage investor relations outreach efforts. For questions, please contact Tamar Essner
This communication and the content found by following any link herein are being provided to you by Corporate Solutions, a business of Nasdaq, Inc. and certain of its subsidiaries (collectively, “Nasdaq”), for informational purposes only. Nasdaq makes no representation or warranty with respect to this communication or such content and expressly disclaims any implied warranty under law. Sources include Reuters, TR IBES, WSJ, The Financial Times and proprietary Nasdaq research.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


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