Energy Valuation Insights

A weekly update on issues important to the oil and gas industry

Category

Energy Valuation Insights


Special Topics

An Introduction to Dividends and Dividend Policy for Private Companies

As the calendar year draws to a close, many private companies consider the issue of dividends and dividend policy. Originally published in his book, Unlocking Private Company Wealth, Z. Christopher Mercer, FASA, CFA, ABAR provides an introduction to dividends and dividend policy. He begins with the obvious observation that no matter how informal, your company has a dividend policy.

Permian Basin

The Permian Basin: Loaves and Fishes

One of the most commonly taught Bible stories is the miracle of Jesus feeding five thousand people with only five loaves of bread and two fish. Last week we learned of a new miracle story of never ending sustenance. The Permian Basin, which has been drilled since the 1920s and produced billions of barrels of oil, was discovered to hold the largest unconventional crude accumulation in the US.

Permian Basin

Quick Facts: Permian Basin

Over the past few weeks, we have discussed the increase in M&A activity in the Permian and looked at specific characteristics that make the Permian attractive in a low price environment. Today, we take a step back and review the broad characteristics of the Permian Basin.

Special Topics

Politics & Energy:  Thoughts and Observations on the Election

Government at all levels (federal, state & local) impacts the energy industry. Whether it be overarching regulation at the Department of Energy, fracking bans in New York state, or local permitting issues – it impacts production, economics, and strategy. This week’s election (like most elections) will have a material impact on the oil and gas industry, and thus producers, associations, and other industry participants will be observing closely as to the outcome. Recently, editors of the Oil & Gas Journal (Nick Snow & Bob Tippee) gave some of their thoughts on the topic.

Special Topics Valuation Issues

Oil and Gas Reserve Values

This is the first of two posts in which we will investigate the different values placed on oil and gas reserves in a GAAP, Non-GAAP, IFRS, and fair market value context. As an example we will consider Exxon Mobil Corp., the nation’s largest energy company, which is under investigation for its lack of asset write-downs amid falling oil and gas prices.

Mergers, Acquisitions, & Divestitures Permian Basin

M&A Overview: Race to the Permian

M&A activity in the exploration and production industry has recovered from the standstill experienced one year ago as oil and gas companies waited to see what the market would throw at them next. Companies, who cut drilling activity when prices collapsed, are now looking to replace their reserves through acquisitions, the majority of which are occurring in the Permian.

Eagle Ford Shale

Quick Facts: Eagle Ford

Over the previous weeks, we have discussed specific factors in the Eagle Ford like DUCs (Drilled but Uncompleted Wells) and how certain operators behave in this resource play. Today, we take a step back and review the broad characteristics of the Eagle Ford Shale resource.

Eagle Ford Shale

Long Term Value Drivers in the Eagle Ford

Get Your DUCs in a Row

The Eagle Ford Shale is one of the largest economic developments in the state of Texas. Almost $30 billion was spent developing the play in 2013. However, that figure dropped off dramatically in 2015 and 2016. In the wake of that drop-off some of the key residuals of that investment remain and are still on the precipice of becoming more active. These residual investments exist in the form of drilled, but uncompleted horizontal wells – sometimes known as “DUCs” or “Fracklog”. Many of the big shale producers are jumping on board the fracklog bandwagon.

Downstream Analysis

What Would Warren Buffet Do?

It caught investors’ attention when Warren Buffet further increased his stake in Phillips 66 from 78.782 million shares as of June 30, 2016 to 79.6 million as of August 30, 2016. He now has invested over $6 billion in Phillips 66 and owns almost 15% of Phillips’ available shares. His recent move has sparked a lot of questions regarding what Warren Buffet was thinking.

Mineral and Royalty Rights

Royalty Interests: First in Line, Last in Conversation

When the price of oil started its descent during 2014, the majority of media attention was, and still is, focused on exploration, production, and oil field services companies. While bankruptcy courts are busy deciphering reorganization plans and perhaps liquidations of companies, one group of oil and gas participants are getting little attention: royalty owners. While the last two years have been a rough ride, opportunities do exists for forward thinking royalty owners and investors.

Bankruptcy Domestic Production

Bountiful Barrels, Booms and….Bankruptcies?

Last month we learned something that might not be a shock to those closely following the oil and gas markets, but might be something of a bombshell to everyone else. A report from Rystad Energy estimated that in July 2016, for the first time ever, the United States has more recoverable oil than any other country on the planet – 264 billion barrels. What was the reward for E&P firms? Ironically, it has unfortunately turned out to be a long line at bankruptcy courts.

Marcellus and Utica Shale

Will Marcellus E&P Companies Make a Comeback?

For the last two years we have been asking when will oil prices recover? But natural gas E&P companies have been asking this question for almost seven years. Analysts have worked to predict which companies will make a comeback once prices recover, but the road to recovery has been and will continue to be long and rocky.

Permian Basin

Captain Obvious: Location is Key in E&P

Deal activity, while quiet in the first quarter of the year, has picked up significantly in the last four months, especially in the Permian Basin. Pioneer has been one of the more active companies making investments in the play, but why would they in such a bleak energy climate?

Special Topics

PV-X: WACCs for E&P Companies

In the oil and gas industry, standardized reporting and industry analysts typically use a 10% discount rate on projects’ future cash flows. In this post we explain how such a discount rate is calculated and its effects on valuation; and then discuss a model that provides the discount rates that exploration and production companies face in the current market.

Bankruptcy Domestic Production Valuation Issues

Oil and Gas Market Discussion: Part 2

In May 2016, we attended a panel event discussing investment opportunities in the financially distressed oil and gas sector. The panel included a “who’s who” of oil and gas experts located in Texas. Two industry participants, two consultants, one analyst and one economist discussed the economic outlook for energy prices and then corporate strategy and investment opportunities given the economic outlook. This post, the second and last summarizing this panel discussion, will report opinions given on corporate strategy and investment opportunities.

Bankruptcy Domestic Production Valuation Issues

Bankruptcy: An Overview Part 3

Upon confirmation by the bankruptcy court, a bankruptcy plan must not be likely to result in liquidation or further reorganization. To satisfy the court, a cash-flow test is used to analyze whether the restructured company would generate enough cash to consistently pay its debts. This post walks through the three steps of a cash-flow test.

Domestic Production Valuation Issues

Oil and Gas Market Discussion: Part 1

In May 2016, we attended a panel event discussing investment opportunities in the financially distressed oil and gas sector. The panel included a “who’s who” of oil and gas experts located in Texas. Two industry participants, two consultants, one analyst and one economist discussed the economic outlook for energy prices; and then corporate strategy and investment opportunities given the economic outlook. This post, the first of two summarizing this panel discussion, will report on the economic discussion.

Bankruptcy Valuation Issues

Bankruptcy: An Overview Part 2

From January through May of this year, 39 E&P companies and 31 oilfield services companies had to file for bankruptcy. This post is the second of three aimed at helping those companies and any others who may face bankruptcy in the future to understand the valuation-related aspects of Chapter 11 restructuring. In the first post, we highlighted two reorganization requirements tied to valuation. Here we will explore the consequences of the first of those requirements: The plan should demonstrate that the economic outcomes for the consenting stakeholders (creditors or equity holders) are superior under the Chapter 11 proceeding compared to a Chapter 7 proceeding, which provides for a liquidation of the business.

Bakken Shale Bankruptcy

M&A Activity in the Bakken

In order to survive, when producing is no longer economically feasible, production companies are selling “non-core” assets to generate the cash. M&A activity of Bakken assets has slowed in 2016, but most Bakken assets are selling for heavy discounts making them attractive to buyers. This posts discusses some of these transactions in light of the current environment.

Oil & Gas

Mercer Capital provides oil and gas companies, oil and gas servicers, and mineral & royalty owners with corporate valuation, asset valuation, litigation support, transaction advisory, and related services