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Oil & Gas Exploration and Production

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					                                                                         02 June 2009




                                                                                        Sector Research

 Oil & Gas
 Exploration and
 Production
 Oil in brief
 Crude prices have doubled from their
 most recent bear market and the AIM Oil
 & Gas index is back in favour

     The share prices for junior oil players have gained pace.
     Year-to-date, the AIM Oil & Gas index has outperformed
     the FTSE 350 Oil & Gas Index. This is in line with historical
     trends and reflects their higher gearing to the oil price.

     The sector is not out of the woods yet as access to funds
     remains difficult. Many companies, big and small, are still
     struggling to meet capital commitments and deliver on
     growth plans.

     With oil fundamentals fumbling, technical analysts may
     provide some guidance. Some now say that in strictly
     technical terms, crude oil may be heading for $76-
     $78/bbl. However, we are mindful of a price correction as
     oil market fundamentals are far from balanced.




Leila Reddy - Equity Analyst +44 (0)20 7776 6933 leila.reddy@danielstewart.co.uk
Sales Team +44 (0)20 7776 6931 sales@danielstewart.co.uk
Market exuberance

Crude prices have doubled from their most recent bear market low of
$33.55/bbl on February12. Equity market expectations, economic sentiment
and fluctuating US dollar values continue to have far more impact on oil
prices than the reality of the underlying bearish physical market. Additional
support is also stemming from speculative capital in flight from a weakening
dollar into commodities. Trade in oil seems to be a financial trade and not related
to oil fundamentals.

Chart 1: Crude Oil Heads North


 160
 140
 120
 100
     80
     60
     40
     20
      0
      Dec-07             Feb-08    Apr-08         Jun-08        Aug-08    Oct-08        Dec-08   Feb-09   Apr-09


Source: Daniel Stewart




Where does this leave the junior oil companies?
The rebound in oil prices and positive market sentiment on commodities has seen
optimism back in the oil and gas sector. The major oil indices- the Standard and
Poor's Supercomposite Energy Index (S15ENRS), the Standard and Poor's 500 Oil &
Gas Exploration & Production Index (S5OILP), the FTSE 350 Oil & Gas (F3OILG)
Index and the AIM Oil & Gas Index (AXOIG) have followed suit.

The share prices for junior oil players have gained pace, coming off the lows seen in
late 2008 leading the AXOIG index to outperform the FTSE 350 Oil & Gas (F3OILG)
Producers Index. This is in line with historical trends and reflects their higher gearing
to the oil price and investors’ appetite for less defensive stocks. The risk-reward
proposition of junior oil companies is back in favour.

     The share price of the top 20 AIM-listed oil and gas companies by market
     weight rose by an average of 27% in the first quarter of 2009, on the back of
     higher oil prices and the belief that the worst of the economic downturn is over.
     Indeed, more than half of AIM's oil and gas firms made tentative share price gains
     over the period.




02        Oil & Gas Exploration and Production | 02 June 2009
Chart 2: AIM OIL & Gas Index Back in Favour

 160
 140
 120
 100
   80
   60
   40
   20
     0
     Jan-09                           Feb-09                    Mar-09                  Apr-09                      May-09



                                  S15ENRS Index          AXOIG Index         S4OILP Index         F3OILG Index             Brent Oil

Source: Daniel Stewart

Chart 3: Oil Indices Head North

 160
 140
 120
 100
   80
   60
   40
   20
    0
    Jan-08               Mar-08         May-08           Jul-08          Sep-08       Nov-08          Jan-09          Mar-09           May-09


                                                  AXOIG Index       S4OILP Index       F3OILG Index            Brent Oil

Source: Daniel Stewart




Not out of the woods yet
That said, we do not believe that the sector is out of the woods yet. Access to funds
remains difficult and many companies, big and small, are still struggling to meet
capital commitments and deliver on growth plans.

Year-to-date there has been no initial public offerings. Secondary fundraising remains
low at £23 million. This pales in comparison to the £350 million raised during the
same period a year earlier. At least five oil and gas transactions were announced by
AIM-listed companies in the quarter and in all likelihood more will follow - out of
necessity in the case of distressed companies -- with larger players buying producing
assets at a discount.

         Caspian Holdings, CDS Oil and Gas, Irvine Energy and Enegi Oil, have                             Secondary fundraising remains low at
         warned of serious capital constraints.                                                           £23 million
         Bigger companies were not immune, either. For example, Regal Petroleum
         said talks on a potential US$100 million loan finally ground to a halt in the
         quarter after several months; Timan Oil & Gas’s loan partner said it wanted to




                                                                                            Oil & Gas Exploration and Production | 02 June 2009   03
      amend the terms of its loan facility and that both parties were seeking a
      strategic partner.
      Three more oil and gas firms exited the exchange over the period. Caspian
      Energy and Elixir Petroleum, cited the costs of maintaining a listing outweighed
      the benefits. Shares in Equator Exploration were cancelled after it failed to
      publish its 2007 accounts.
However, companies with tangible operational progress, right projects, and nearing        All is not gloom as companies with
production have been able to raise finance. Circle Oil raised £33m in September           tangible operational progress have been
2008 by way of private placing. The company has since made the transition from            able to raise finance
explorer to producer after bringing on stream its 3,000 barrel per day Al Amir lease in
Egypt. Nighthawk Energy has just announced that it has executed a Purchase, Sale
and Option Agreement with San Severina Holdings, a Swiss based investment
company (total deal value: US$40m).

So where to now?
With old-style fundamentalists fumbling, technical analysts may provide some
guidance. Some now say that in strictly technical terms, crude oil may be heading for
$76-$78/bbl.

However, we are mindful of a price correction as oil market fundamentals are far from
balanced due to the persistent contraction in demand and growing supply overhang.
Demand is contracting at its fastest pace since 1981. The International Energy
Agency, forecasts a fall in consumption of 2.6m barrels a day year-on-year, which
puts this year’s average oil consumption to 83.2m b/d, the lowest since 2004.




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Oil & Gas Exploration and Production | 02 June 2009   05
06   Oil & Gas Exploration and Production | 02 June 2009
Disclosure Checklist

Company                                                                                                 Code                                            Disclosure




Source: Daniel Stewart



1. Within the past twelve months Daniel Stewart & Co plc and/or its affiliates has managed or co-managed a public offering for this Company, for which it
   received fees or the promise of fees
2. Daniel Stewart & Co plc and/or its affiliates act as corporate broker or nominated advisor to this Company
3. Daniel Stewart & Co plc and/or its affiliates regularly hold/may hold in future trading positions (which may include options) in this Company
4. Daniel Stewart & Co plc and/or its affiliates holds more than 5% of the securities of this Company
5. The Company holds more than 5% of the securities of Daniel Stewart & Co plc and/or its affiliates
6. Daniel Stewart & Co plc and/or its affiliates may currently be providing, expects to provide within the next three months or may have provided within the
   previous twelve months, investment banking services to this Company, which have given rise to payment or the promise of payment
7. The author and/or an individual responsible for production of this report has direct ownership of stock in this Company
8. The author responsible for the production of this report received or purchased shares in the issuer, prior to a public offering of the shares.
9. Daniel Stewart and Company is party to an agreement with this company for the publication of research on it
10. This research note has been disclosed to the Company, with resulting amendments, prior to its dissemination
11. Daniel Stewart & Co and/or its affiliates act as financial advisor to this company
The Daniel Stewart recommendation structure is based on relative upside/downside to target price. The target price is set on a rolling 12 month view. Upside or
downside of 10% or more is categorised as Buy or Sell respectively, and less than 10% a Hold.
Although reasonable care has been taken by Daniel Stewart & Co plc to ensure the facts stated and opinions given and projections made in this document are
fair and accurate, Daniel Stewart & Co plc has not independently verified all the information given in this document.
Any comments contained in this document are intended only for those private investors and business customers of Daniel Stewart & Company Plc to whom it has
been distributed. In the event that any such person should come into possession of this document, it is recommended that they should seek independent advice
from a suitably qualified professional advisor before taking any decisions in relation to the investments detailed herein. The investments mentioned in this
document may not be suitable for all recipients or be appropriate for their personal circumstances. The information in this document is believed to be correct but
cannot be guaranteed. Opinions constitute our judgement as of this date and are subject to change without warning. The views expressed in this report
accurately reflect the personal views of the author as at the date of the report. The author did not receive compensation or other payments in connection with the
specific recommendations or views expressed herein. This document is not intended as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell securities. Daniel Stewart &
Company, its officers and employees may have positions in the securities mentioned herein. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future performance
and the value of investments may fall as well as rise and the income from them may fluctuate and is not guaranteed. Clients may not recover the amount
invested. Some securities carry a higher degree of risk than others. The levels and basis of taxation can change. When we comment on AIM or PLUS Markets
shares you should be aware that because the rules for these markets are less demanding than those of the Official List of the London Stock Exchange the risks
are higher. There is a higher risk of losing the money you have invested. Furthermore, the marketability of these shares is often restricted, you may have difficulty
in selling your shares and there is often a big difference between the buying and selling price so that if you have to sell them immediately after purchase you may
get back much less than you paid for them. If you are in any doubt, you should consult your investment advisor.
Daniel Stewart & Co plc may actually or may seek to do business with companies covered in its research reports. The firm’s policy on managing actual or
potential conflicts of interest and other relevant disclosures may be found in our Research Note Policy statement on our website
www.danielstewart.co.uk/research/legal.asp
Distribution of Ratings
                                                            All Companies                             Of which are Investment Banking Clients in the last 12 months
Buy                                                              71%                                                             36%
Hold                                                             22%                                                             18%
Sell                                                              7%                                                              0%
data as of 31 March 2009

The contents of this document have been prepared by, are the sole responsibility of and have been issued by Daniel Stewart & Company Plc for the purpose of
section 21 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.
Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Apr09


                                                                                                   Oil & Gas Exploration and Production | 02 June 2009            07

				
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