What 2023 Might Have in Store
As we have now put a bow on 2022 and have turned our attention to 2023, we suspect that the dreaded “R word” is on the mind of many of our readers as they contemplate the myriad challenges and obstacles their businesses will face in 2023. Now is the time to think critically about how your business is positioned for a potential economic slowdown. This post offers a few practical steps business owners, directors, and their advisors can take to ensure their business continues to thrive.
Three years ago, Bryce Erickson wrote an article about struggling Appalachian gas companies amid depressed valuations. They would still be struggling if that world had remained. It has not remained. A lot has changed since then, and the future looks very bright indeed.
Part 2: A Closer Look at Projected U.S. LNG Export Terminal Capacity
In Part 1 of our analysis on U.S. LNG Export Terminal Facilities, we examined trends in the number of LNG export facility applications and approval rates from 2010 through 2021, and examined the projected export capacity relative to the projected export volumes of U.S. LNG from 2022 through 2031. In Part 2 of our analysis, we take a closer look at the anticipated export capacity proposed to come online over the near and mid-term horizons to better understand the underlying factors that have spurred so many projects, seemingly far in excess of projected level of LNG exports from the U.S.
For decades, an oil and gas company (all else being equal) often expected to have an enterprise value somewhat close to their PV-10 calculations in their annual reserve report. That’s not the case these days. Consigned to back pages, footnotes, and appendices, the reserve report’s relevance has waned. It is not that reserve reports are obsolete, but investors are focused on other things – namely returns to shareholders, free cash flow and deleveraging
Part I: The Current State of U.S. LNG Export Terminal Facilities and Projected Export Capacity
Based on the eye-ball test, it’s pretty clear that projected export capacity could far outstrip demand for U.S. LNG, based on the EIA’s export projections (as of early 2021), only if all that capacity were to come online. Free Market Economics 101 theory would indicate, rather decisively, that such excessive capacity would clearly not be worth building out given the export volumes projected as of early 2021. Then, on February 24, 2022, Russia – the largest supplier of LNG to Europe – invaded Ukraine. For an in-depth discussion, read this week’s post.
The upstream oil and gas sector is highly capital intensive; production requires expensive equipment and constant maintenance. Despite higher oil and gas prices, E&P operators have refrained from increasing capital investment, and instead, are delivering cash to shareholders. In this post, we explore recent capex trends in the oil & gas industry and the outlook for 2022 through 28 selected public companies.
Update, Trends, and the Future
The Oilfield Services industry has long been known for its cyclicality, sharp changes in “direction,” and demand-driven technological innovation. One segment of the OFS industry that is among those most subject to recent, rapid change is the Oilfield Water segment – including water supply, use, production, infrastructure, recycling, and disposal. In this week’s post, we look to key areas of the Oilfield Water segment – oilfield water disposal and oilfield water recycling – and address both recent trends and where the segment is going in the near-future.
Part 3: Oilfield Service Companies
After summarizing the key topics from Q4 earnings calls from public E&P operators and Mineral Aggregators, this week, we turn our attention to the Q4 earnings calls from Oil Field Service companies. Key themes include 1) macroeconomic headwinds, such as labor shortages and supply chain constraints; 2) the anticipation of greater M&A activity and industry consolidation in 2022; and 3) ESG, including recognition of OFS operator initiatives from outside the industry, the mitigation of environmental impacts on local communities at present, and projections of continued demand for ESG-focused services.
Part 2: Mineral Aggregators
In Part 1: Themes from Q4 E&P Operator Earnings Calls last week, we noted themes of cost inflation, a shift in production focus from natural gas to liquids, and macro policy headwinds. This week, we focus on the key takeaways from the mineral aggregator Q4 2021 earnings calls – specifically discipline in an elevated pricing environment, stagnant production, and strength in position amid inflationary environment.
In the last round of earnings calls for 2021, cost inflation was discussed with a bit more granularity than in recent quarterly calls, strengthening oil prices sparked a shift in focus towards the liquid hydrocarbon streams, and commentary regarding macro policies targeting hydrocarbons were prevalent in E&P management discussions.
The Rise of the OFS Bulls
In our Energy Valuation Insights from last week, Bryce Erickson focused on Oilfield Services (OFS) company valuations. This week we follow the same OFS theme, but with a focus on OFS “expectations” and the question: “Has the OFS industry turned the corner to a more prosperous outlook?”
“The dawn is coming!” This phrase comes to mind as we observe valuations and prospects for oilfield service companies. It has been tough sledding for OFS companies during COVID. At the end of 2020, rig counts were around 350 and DUC counts were high.
However, as we’ve been talking about for the past several weeks, things have changed for the positive as far as the industry is concerned, and it’s going to get better according to presenters at the recent NAPE Global Business Conference in Houston. The current U.S. rig count is now at 613 and may be heading to 800 this year if OFS companies can fill a real labor shortage gap.
However, when it comes to valuations, assuming oilfield service companies will join the recovery has not always been true in the shale era. That said – this time may be different.
In this week’s post, we note the past and current performance of oilfield service companies and discuss the valuation trends for the industry.
We continue the “what a difference a year makes” theme, but now with a focus on analyst projections, then-and-now (then being as of year-end 2020, and now being as of year-end 2021) and energy stock valuation multiples. For the purpose of our analysis, we identified publicly traded energy companies trading on the NYSE and NASDAQ exchanges and operating in three broad areas – exploration and production (E&P), oilfield services (OFS), and midstream. So, what are the analysts expecting? Find out in this week’s post.
Key Aspects of the Energy Industry in 2021
The close of 2021 marked the end of a long upward march for the energy sector. With oil closing up the year at $75 and gas at nearly $4 per mmbtu, the commodity markets driving the energy sector were much more economically attractive to producers. Stock indices such as the XLE was up over 50% for 2021 and was by far the best performing sector. Rig counts rose along with prices. Crude production also rose to 11.7 million bbls/day with room to grow. In addition, OPEC+ has signaled it will continue its scheduled output growth. All of this growth is coming alongside the ascent of wind and solar. Even though the Omicron variant affected prices in December, most analysts believe that COVID won’t stop the growth. In this post, we review the industry at the end of 2021 and look forward to 2022.
Natural gas prices are rising. So why is production not ramping up to meet heightened demand? Is the demand mostly coming from the U.S.? What are the ripple effects of higher natural gas prices? We tackle all this and more in this week’s post.
In this post we discuss the most important information contained in a reserve report, the assumptions used to create it, and what factors should be changed to arrive at Fair Value or Fair Market Value.
As the volatility continues with oil field service companies (the OSX has nearly doubled since November 2020), valuation and techniques associated therewith are important to consider right now. Therefore, this week we are reposting our blog post and whitepaper as it pertains to how to understand and value oil field service companies.
Volatile asset returns in the oil patch were commonplace last year. Those returns often got amplified in entities utilizing equity distribution waterfall allocation techniques. It all depended on the structure and how optionality was treated.
The recent rise of oil prices is a welcome sign to mineral and royalty holders across the board. Low valuations may not last for much longer though. In the meantime, let us expound a bit on the forces keeping mineral and royalty valuations in their existing state.
A reserve report is a fascinating disclosure of information. This is, in part, because the disclosures reveal the strategies and financial confidence an E&P company believes about itself in the near future. Strategies include capital budgeting decisions, future investment decisions, and cash flow expectations. In this post, we provide a general overview of a reserve report, detailing why they’re important, what they contain, and how they’re prepared.
Oil and gas analysts use many different metrics to explain and compare the value of an oil and gas company, specifically an exploration and production (E&P) company. The most popular metrics (at least according to our eyeballs) include (1) EV/Production; (2) EV/Reserves; (3) EV/Acreage; and (4) EV/EBITDA(X). Enterprise Value (EV) may also be termed Market Value of Invested Capital (MVIC) and is calculated by the market capitalization of a public company plus debt on the balance sheet less cash on the balance sheet. In this post, we will dive into one of these four metrics, the EV/Production metric, and explore the most popular uses of it.
2020 Global Events Causing Significant Reserve Write-Downs
The oil & gas market and the energy sector as a whole have taken a beating and experienced unprecedented events due to the global impacts from the pandemic and international price wars. While the scale of the full economic effects from these events has yet to be seen, companies are having to question and consider the need for interim impairment testing on reserves. The purpose of this post is to help oil & gas companies discern whether they may need to make interim impairment assessments and to discuss the impairment testing process.
As the clouds begin to clear from the oil patch storm that began three months ago, management, analysts and investors are wondering what is going to happen next. Has the proverbial storm system passed? Is it time to venture out and rebuild, or are we still in the eye of the hurricane, with the back wall on its way? Both are possibilities.
The fact that valuations in the mineral and royalty space have decreased is not news at this point, but what is interesting is that this environment has changed a lot of things along the way.