Energy Valuation Insights

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


Valuation Issues

Special Topics

Impairment Testing of Oil & Gas Reserves

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.

Hedging And Bank Retreats Complicate Royalty Aggregators’ Valuation

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.

COVID-19 Coverage

Uncharted Valuation Territory: What Is A Barrel Or An Acre Worth Today?

Times are tumultuous for the oil and gas industry. News earlier this month was met with no rise in West Texas Intermediate pricing at the time. It hovered around $20.00 per barrel. Last week it fell to the seemingly unconscionable negative territory. It was worse in other places. In Western Canada heavy select oil was around $4.50 per barrel and dropped to $0 last week. It went negative as well. World demand for oil has dropped somewhere between 20% and 35% by some estimations, and excess supply has been building for weeks.

Something must give, and something will. While global supply and demand imbalance has the industry scrambling in unseen territory, how does this convert to what upstream companies and reserves are worth amid the situation? Is it a 1:1 price to value change ratio? Depending on perspective, the answer is both simple and complicated.

Special Topics

How to Perform a Purchase Price Allocation for an Oilfield Services Company

When performing a purchase price allocation for an oilfield services company, careful attention must be given to both the relevant accounting rules and the specific nuances of the oil and gas industry. Oilfield services companies can entail many unique characteristics that are not present in non-oilfield related businesses such as manufacturing, wholesale, non-energy related services, or retail. We will explore the unique factors in future entries. In this blog post, we discuss the guidelines for purchase price allocations that all companies must adhere.

Special Topics

The Fair Market Value of Oil & Gas Reserves

Oil and gas assets represent the majority of value of an E&P company. The Oil and Gas Financial Journal describes reserves as “a measurable value of a company’s worth and a basic measure of its life span.” Thus, understanding the fair market value of a company’s PDP, PDNP, and PUDs is key to understanding the fair market value of the Company.

How to Perform a Purchase Price Allocation for an E&P Company

When performing a purchase price allocation for an Exploration and Production (E&P) company, careful attention must be paid to both the accounting rules and the specialty nuances of the oil and gas industry. In this blog post, we discuss the guidelines for purchase price allocations that all companies must adhere.

Challenges in Appraising Refinery Businesses

The appraisal of businesses involved in the refining of crude oil entails a number of challenges.  Some are unique to the industry, and others are more common.  The challenges arise primarily in two areas – assessing the level of uncertainty inherent in the entity’s future cash flows and forecasting the entity’s future operating results.

How to Value Your E&P Company

Our whitepaper “How to Value Your Exploration and Production Company” provides an informative overview of the valuation of exploration and production companies. Because of the historical popularity of this post, we revisit it this week. This post helps you, the reader, understand how E&P companies are valued which may help you understand how to grow the value of your business and maximize returns when it comes time to sell.

Accounting for Risk in Oil and Gas Reserve Valuations

Reserve Adjustment Factors and Risk-Adjusted Discount Rates

One of the most complex aspects of oil and gas valuation is accounting for the risk associated with PDNP reserves, PUD reserves, and the less certain probables and possibles (P2 and P3 Reserves). Generally, there are three ways to account for this additional risk: (1) Using a risk-adjusted discount rate, (2) applying a reserve adjustment factor (RAF), or (3) utilizing a modified option pricing model.

Non-Operated Working Interests: Are You Investing in the Operator, the Oilfield, or Both?

Joint Ventures in Oil and Gas

Executing a successful joint venture requires a number of items working in harmony such as solid due diligence, good location, cooperation between both firms, and a degree of luck on the bet they are making.

It seems a bit contradictory that a large amount of projects are structured as joint ventures if they have such a high failure rate. This begs the question, does the success of the JV hinge on the quality of the oilfield or the technical ability of the operator? The answer, we think, lies somewhere in the middle.

How to Interpret Breakeven Prices

Before mid-2014, few investors took notice of efficiency-oriented metrics, instead focusing on stories of new oil discoveries and the development of new wells and new technologies.  Since the crash in oil prices, a new measure of success was brought to the forefront:  breakeven prices.

As more companies present this metric and more investors rely on it as an indication of performance, it becomes increasingly important to understand what it actually measures, and if breakeven prices can be compared consistently from company to company.

Oilfield Service Valuations

Missing The Party Or Just Fashionably Late?

Higher oil prices, coupled with lower breakeven costs for producers, are making drillers, completers and a host of other servicers busier than a gopher on a golf course. Does that translate into higher valuations?

Eagle Ford Q1 2018

Lower Breakevens Yet Some Plan Fewer Wells

The economics of the Eagle Ford Shale have been steadily improving for the past year.  While the Permian has been receiving the most attention given its low-cost economics and large well potential, the Eagle Ford (particularly its oil window) has increased well production whilst dropping its costs.  However, based on recent announcements, many companies will be reducing the number of wells drilled in 2018 as compared to 2017.

How to Value an Oil and Gas Refinery

A thorough understanding of the role of refineries in the oil and gas industry is important in establishing a credible value for a business operating in the refining space. In addition, it is critical to understand the subject company’s position in the market, its operations, and its financial condition. In this post, we walk through industry factors, three valuation approaches, and the importance of synthesizing these factors in order glean a holistic understanding of a company’s value.

Special Topics

What Is a Reserve Report? (Part II)

This is the second of multiple posts discussing 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.

In this post, we discuss two of the most important inputs that go into every reserve report: production and pricing and why it may be appropriate to make adjustments to these inputs for purposes of Fair Value or Fair Market Value.

Valuing Oil & Gas Reserves (Part II)

Don Erickson, Managing Director of Mercer Capital, educates the public on valuation methodologies and trends impacting various industries. One such industry is Oil & Gas. In the second part of this two-part slide deck, he discusses the basics of how to value oil & gas reserves.

Valuing Oil & Gas Reserves (Part I)

Don Erickson, Managing Director of Mercer Capital, educates the public on valuation methodologies and trends impacting various industries. One such industry is Oil & Gas. In this slide deck, he discusses the main drivers impacting the oil and gas pricing environment over the previous decade and the implications to valuing reserves.

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