Energy Valuation Insights

A weekly update on issues important to the Energy industry


Eureka! Observations & Thoughts from the Permian DUG Conference

Last week, Mercer Capital attended the DUG Permian Basin Conference in Fort Worth. It was a solidly attended event hosted by Hart Energy. The session speakers were a mix of mostly company executives and industry analysts. The presentations were tinged with a lot of optimism – centered on the positive and unique economics of the Permian, tempered by (some) cautionary commentary. We will follow on in later posts with some more detail on specifics, but today we want to touch on a few thematic elements: the Permian was the center of the M&A activity in 2016 and will be in 2017, efficiency and productivity gains are helping to fuel activity, and a rise in rig counts will eventually mean rise in costs.

How to Value Overriding Royalty Interests

When comparing a royalty interest to an ORRI, it is critical to understand the subtle nuances of the rights and restrictions between the two. Owners of royalty interests utilizing Permian Basin Royalty Trust as a valuation gauge should adjust for such differences as well as other differences between publicly traded and non-marketable securities.

The Wild Goose Chase Is Over

From 2000 to 2005, “concerns that supply could run out and soaring oil prices sent energy companies on a grand, often wildly expensive, chase for new production.” They were investing in multi-billion-dollar projects in the Arctic waters and Kazakhstan’s Captain Sea. A WSJ article titled, “Oil Companies Take Thrifty Bets,” explained that when oil was worth $100 per barrel oil companies had much higher risk tolerance and were able to invest heavily in the exploration of undeveloped land and ocean. But as the price of oil declined and has settled around $50 per barrel, the wild goose chase for oil has come to an end.

A Bright Spot at the Bottom of the Barrel

Asphalt and road oil are used primarily by the construction industry for roofing and waterproofing and for road construction. Asphalt is a byproduct of petroleum refining. During the distillation process of crude oil, asphalt does not boil off and is left as a heavy residue. Generally around 90% of crude is turned into high margin products such as gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and petrochemicals while the other 10% is converted into asphalt and other low margin products. Petroleum refiners sell asphalt to asphalt product manufacturers who produce retail products such as asphalt paving mixtures and blocks; asphalt emulsions; prepared asphalt and tar roofing and siding products; and roofing asphalts and pitches, coating, and cement.

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