|Day's range||3.4700 - 3.4700|
The announcement of a “phase one” trade deal between the U.S. and China saw WTI break $60 for the first time in months, with bullish sentiment taking hold despite some bearish fundamentals
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Electrons aren’t much of a growth industry in the U.S., the second-largest electricity market in the world after China. Electricity sales rose last year, after nearly a decade of being flat or falling slightly, but are still only up 3% since 2007. There is one market, though, where demand for electrons is booming: data centers. That power-hungry growth market, though, is also where some of the world’s biggest, most capitalized and most innovative companies are bringing their might to bear. Before getting into that innovation, though, there’s a crucial equation to consider: the power usage effectiveness ratio, or PUE. PUE is a measure of a data center’s energy efficiency — the ratio of total energy used divided by energy consumed specifically for information technology activities. The theoretical ideal PUE is 1, where 100% of electricity consumption goes toward useful computation. All the other stuff — power transformers, uninterruptible power supplies, lighting and especially cooling — uses power but doesn’t compute, and as a result raises a data center’s PUE. A 2016 Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory study listed what was, at the time, PUE for facilities at various scales: a server sitting in a room, a server in a closet, a “hyperscale” extremely large data center. The smaller the server, the higher its ratio and the lower its efficiency. For the smallest server spaces, the PUE is above 2, meaning that more than half of its energy use is for things other than computing. For hyperscale, the PUE is 1.2 — meaning that most of the energy is going to computation. Here are that same data, expressed a bit differently, to show a server or data center’s power consumption by use. Here you can see that the smallest applications used more power for cooling than for computation. But at hyperscale data centers, more than 80% of power consumption went to IT (servers, networking and storage), and only 13% went to cooling. But now, with so much computation happening in the cloud (and, in reality, in hyperscale data centers), it’s worth finding out what today’s PUEs are and just how close they can get to that theoretical ideal of 1.0. A recent Uptime Institute survey of 1,600 data center owners and operators found that 2019’s average PUE is 1.67, and that “improvements in data center facility energy efficiency have flattened out and even deteriorated slightly in the past two years.” That PUE means that 60% of data center electricity consumption is going to IT, and the rest to cooling, lighting and so on. However, some operators are doing much better than that. Google says that its data centers have a PUE of 1.1, with some centers going as low as 1.06. There’s some seasonality in play, particularly because most of Google’s data centers are in the Northern Hemisphere; its Singapore data center has the highest PUE and is the least efficient of its sites. That’s not surprising given Singapore is hot and humid year-round. One key way to lower the cooling demand for a data center is to cool only to the temperature at which the machines are comfortable, not to where humans are most comfortable. For Google, that’s a temperature of 80 degrees Fahrenheit. There’s another approach, and one that draws on computation itself: machine learning. Google unleashed its DeepMind machine learning platform on the problem of data center energy efficiency three years ago; last year, it effectively turned over control to its own artificial intelligence: In 2016, we jointly developed an AI-powered recommendation system to improve the energy efficiency of Google’s already highly-optimised data centres. Our thinking was simple: even minor improvements would provide significant energy savings and reduce CO2 emissions to help combat climate change.Now we’re taking this system to the next level: instead of human-implemented recommendations, our AI system is directly controlling data centre cooling, while remaining under the expert supervision of our data centre operators. This first-of-its-kind cloud-based control system is now safely delivering energy savings in multiple Google data centres.It seems likely that more of that sort of approach will be adopted by Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, IBM and other major cloud computing firms. Even with efficiency gains, data center electricity demand is voracious and growing; that growth has a number of implications for the power grid and for power utilities. The first is that many of these major consumers of electricity are also contracting for wind and solar power to meet their demand. The second is that, with many data centers clustering in locations such as Northern Virginia, data center loads are becoming a meaningful share of utility peak demand in a given service territory. Recent BloombergNEF research finds that data centers could make up 15% of Dominion Energy Inc.’s summer peak demand by 2024. Given that data center operators have every incentive to economize on electricity, utilities need to compete to provide service. Preferential — and confidential — contracts for power supply are one way to do that, with the result being that other rate payers bear the cost, as Bloomberg News reported last year. Gains in efficiency don’t mean that data center demand for electricity is going down. Their scale and growth is a testament to their power usage effectiveness. Their preferential contracts for electricity, on the other hand, feel like a testament to their effective usage of a different kind of power: buying power. Weekend readingChevron Corp.’s $10 billion to $11 billion impairment charge, related mostly to its Appalachian natural gas assets, “ushers in oil’s era of the sober-major.” Chevron has also called time on the Kitimat liquefied natural gas export plant in British Columbia, writing off years of development while also planning to sell its 50% stake. Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd. has launched the world’s first liquefied hydrogen carrier. Tesla Inc. has lost its third general counsel in the course of a year. Vancouver-based Harbour Air Ltd.’s electric seaplane has taken flight. I looked at the environmental implications of electrifying aviation last month. Stanford University has released its 2019 Artificial Intelligence Index Report. Venture capital fund Piva, funded by $250 million from Malaysia’s Petronas, has launched with a focus on energy and industry. Bloomberg Media will acquire CityLab, a news site covering “urban innovation and the future of cities.” Nomura Holdings Inc. will acquire sustainable technology and infrastructure boutique investment bank Greentech Capital Advisors. Hiro Mizuno, the chief investment officer of Japan’s $1.6 trillion Government Pension Investment Fund, has “embraced ESG principles so enthusiastically” that the fund will not award new mandates to managers without environmental, social and governance credentials. Considering the legacy of Xie Zhenhua, a key architect of the Paris Agreement and China’s climate negotiator for more than a decade. Greta Thunberg is Time Magazine’s Person of the Year. Get Sparklines delivered to your inbox. Sign up here.To contact the author of this story: Nathaniel Bullard at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Brooke Sample at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Nathaniel Bullard is a BloombergNEF energy analyst, covering technology and business model innovation and system-wide resource transitions.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
TOTAL (TOT) is set to further expand footprint in the United States. It has decided to develop and invest in two offshore projects in the Gulf of Mexico.
(Bloomberg) -- Oil rose, reversing the previous day’s decline, after the U.S. reached a trade deal in principle with China.Futures gained 0.7% in New York Thursday. American negotiators have reached the terms of a phase-one trade agreement that now awaits President Donald Trump’s approval, a development that eases concerns about a global economic slowdown.“It looks like we may have the miracle of a trade deal after all, though I still think the U.S. will play some hard ball with China, so there’s still some uncertainty over the details of this,” said John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital. “Beyond the deal, there’s definitely more of a bullish set up now given the OPEC+ deal and tensions in Iran and Iraq.”The trade optimism overshadowed a jump in U.S. fuel inventories that weighed on prices Wednesday. American gasoline inventories surged the most since January as overall product demand slumped to a three-year low, and crude stockpiles increased, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.Last week, the 24 producers in the OPEC+ coalition -- led by Saudi Arabia and Russia -- agreed to a package of cutbacks amounting to 2.1 million barrels a day. Still, deeper production cutbacks announced by the group won’t prevent a surplus in early 2020, the International Energy Agency said.West Texas Intermediate for January delivery rose 42 cents to settle at $59.18 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Volatility for WTI futures is at the lowest since May.Brent for February settlement rose 48 cents to $64.20 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe Exchange, after falling 1% to close on Wednesday. The global benchmark crude traded at a $5.14 premium to WTI for the same month.\--With assistance from Robert Tuttle.To contact the reporters on this story: Catherine Ngai in New York at email@example.com;Grant Smith in London at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: David Marino at email@example.com, Catherine Traywick, Christine BuurmaFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Chevron Corporation (NYSE: CVX) announced today it has sanctioned the Anchor project in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. This marks the industry’s first deepwater high-pressure development to achieve a final investment decision. Delivery of the new technology, which is capable of handling pressures of 20,000 psi, also enables access to other high-pressure resource opportunities across the Gulf of Mexico for Chevron and the industry.
EIA's Weekly Petroleum Status Report revealed that crude inventories rose by 822,000 barrels, compared to the 1.8 million barrels decrease that energy analysts had expected.
Chevron’s $11 billion assets writedown isn’t the first, and will surely not be the last in what could turn out to be a string of assets writedowns caused by low commodity prices and a negative growth outlook
Oil and gas producers could wipe billions of dollars off the value of U.S. natural gas assets in the months ahead, analysts said on Wednesday, after Chevron Corp became the fourth oil major to slash its estimates for sector values. A long, steady increase in U.S. gas production – much of it a byproduct of the shale oil boom – has pushed prices for the fuel toward a 25-year low. Nearly half of U.S. gas production is a by-product of oil drilling, and therefore does not change in response to weak prices, analysts said.
(Bloomberg) -- Abundant natural gas resources, an all-electric plant and just a nine-day hop to energy-hungry Asian markets were not enough to convince Chevron Corp. to pursue its Kitimat gas export project in western Canada, marking a further blow to the country’s beleaguered fossil fuel industry.The U.S. oil giant called time on the liquefied natural gas plant on Wednesday, saying it plans to sell its 50% stake and that the project “will not be funded by Chevron and may be of higher value to another company.” Woodside Petroleum Ltd., its partner, is also seeking to sell a share in the project.For Chevron, it’s a decision to write off years of planning as the global LNG industry gets crowded, gas prices keep slumping and the San Ramon, California-based company focuses on areas like the Permian Basin in Texas. But for Canada, it’s a bigger hit: billions of dollars of potential investment, and a much-needed long-term outlet for its gas to foreign markets.The move comes after several large multinational energy companies have either left or reduced their presence in Canada in recent years, including Norway’s Equinor ASA, France’s Total SA and ConocoPhillips. Independent producers such as Devon Energy Corp., Apache Corp. and Marathon Oil Corp., as well as pipeline giant Kinder Morgan Inc., have gotten in on the act, too. Even Encana Corp., a Canadian company born out of the nation’s 19th-century railway boom, plans a move to the U.S.One major hurdle for Kitimat was Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s $30 billion rival LNG Canada project planned for the same area on British Columbia’s Pacific Coast, but due to be built first. Chevron had adopted a go-slow approach to Kitimat and faced a glut of similar projects selling the same fuel, particularly along the Gulf Coast.Global LNG supply is forecast to grow 9.2% to 406 million tons in 2020, according to BloombergNEF.To contact the reporter on this story: Kevin Crowley in Houston at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Simon Casey at email@example.com, Carlos Caminada, Patrick McKiernanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Along with never invading Russia or getting into a Twitter argument, we can add another golden rule — this one specifically for U.S. oil majors: Never buy a shale-gas business.Chevron Corp.’s $10-11 billion impairment, announced late Tuesday, relates mostly to the Appalachian gas assets it picked up in 2011’s $4.9 billion acquisition of Atlas Energy Inc. Back then, the Permian basin was not a regular topic on the business channels, nor was it a central pillar of Chevron’s spending plans. But now it is, and simultaneously plowing billions into a Permian oil business that spits out gas essentially for free while running a dry-gas business in the Marcellus shale is like flooring it with the parking brake on.Chevron joins the ranks of Exxon Mobil Corp. — which paid $35 billion for XTO Energy Inc. less than a year before the Atlas deal and has been haunted by it ever since — and ConocoPhillips, which bought Rockies gas producer Burlington Resources Inc. way back in 2006 for $36 billion and then wrote most of that off in 2008.But there is far more to this than just mistimed forays into the graveyard of optimism that is the U.S. natural gas market — and not just for Chevron.Big Oil just had a forgettable earnings season. Chevron announced cost overruns on the giant Tengiz expansion project in Kazakhstan. Exxon continued borrowing to cover its dividend. Across the pond, BP Plc and Royal Dutch Shell Plc flubbed resetting expectations on dividends and buybacks. What ties all of these together are weak returns on capital. Chevron’s problems in Kazakhstan are echoed in its impairment of another asset, the Big Foot field in the Gulf of Mexico. This is another mega-project that went awry and, in an era when producers can no longer count on an oil upswing to save the economics, is found wanting. Chevron is also ditching the Kitimat LNG project in Canada that it bought into in 2013.All this is a particularly sore spot for Chevron given its problems with Australian liquefied natural gas mega-projects earlier this decade. CEO Mike Wirth’s decision to clear the decks seems intended in part to signal that, unlike the experience of his predecessor with Australian LNG development, he will drop big assets that don’t make the cut financially.Discovering, financing and developing mega-projects is why the supermajors were created at the end of the 1990s. Today, when investors are interested at all, they’re leery of capital outlays, aware the outlook for oil and gas markets is challenged in fundamental ways. So tying up money in big, risky, multi-year ventures is a good way to crush your stock price.Wirth isn’t abandoning conventional development; Big Foot aside, the Gulf Of Mexico has several new projects in the pipeline, for example. But to offset the drag on returns from the extra spending at Tengiz, he must streamline the rest of the portfolio. This is the story of the sector writ large. “Too much capital is chasing too few opportunities,” as Doug Terreson of Evercore ISI puts it. Conoco, which remade itself radically after the Burlington debacle, set the tone with its recent analyst day, emphasizing the need to get the industry’s long-standing spending habits under control and focus on returns to win back investors who are free to put their money into other sectors. Chevron’s write-offs and shareholder payouts (38% of cash from operations over the past 12 months) are of a piece with this. While the company has laid out guidance for production to grow by 3% to 4% a year, that is very much subject to the returns on offer. Capital intensity — as in, shrinking it — is what counts.Chevron’s move throws the spotlight especially on big rival Exxon. While Exxon has taken some impairment against its U.S. gas assets, that represented a small fraction of the XTO purchase. Exxon also sticks out right now for its giant capex budget (bigger than Chevron’s by more than half), leaving no room for buybacks or even to fully cover its dividend.In the first decade of the supermajors, when peak oil supply was a thing, big projects with big budgets to match were something to boast about. As the second decade draws to an end, only the leanest operators will survive. Chevron won’t be the last oil major to rip off the band-aid, just as we haven’t yet seen the full extent of the inevitable restructurings and consolidation among the smaller E&P companies. On this front, there’s another golden rule: Better to get it done sooner rather than later. To contact the author of this story: Liam Denning at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Gongloff at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Liam Denning is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering energy, mining and commodities. He previously was editor of the Wall Street Journal's Heard on the Street column and wrote for the Financial Times' Lex column. He was also an investment banker.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
An inflation rate of 2.1% will send no one running for the hills; we might even look at these figures as somewhat "Goldilocks" \-- not too hot, not too cold.
U.S. stocks closed lower on Tuesday amid investors??? concern over a partial trade deal as the dateline for fresh U.S. tariff on China will end by this week end.
(Bloomberg) -- Chevron Corp. expects to write down as much as $11 billion in the fourth quarter, more than half of it from its Appalachia natural gas assets after a slump in prices.The U.S. oil major is considering the sale of shale-gas holdings, according to a statement Tuesday. The company said separately it intends to exit its stake in the Kitimat liquefied natural gas project in Canada. And Chevron also plans to keep its 2020 capital budget at $20 billion, the third consecutive year it hasn’t boosted spending.The company’s actions come from a chief executive officer, Mike Wirth, whose mantra has been capital discipline. Wirth earlier this year earned $1 billion for the company by walking away from a bidding war for Anadarko Petroleum Corp. San Ramon, California-based Chevron is the best performer among the five Western oil majors this year, but it has faced mounting costs at its Tengiz project in Kazakhstan.“The Appalachia writedown should be baked in, but the others are incrementally negative” for the stock, said Muhammed Ghulam, a Houston-based analyst at Raymond James & Associates. “I would expect most companies to have to write down gas assets this year.”Chevron follows Schlumberger Ltd. and Repsol SA in ascribing a lower value to their assets at a time when the growing adoption of cleaner energy stokes speculation that demand for fossil fuels may peak in a few years, while supplies keep rising. The oil-services giant posted a $12.7 billion writedown in October, while the Spanish producer took $5.3 billion off its balance sheet last week.Chevron’s shares dropped 0.5% to $117.35 at 8:22 a.m. in pre-market trading in New York. They are up about 8% for the year.The gas glut is particularly pronounced in North America where shale production is flooding local markets. Wirth said his decision to walk away from certain gas assets illustrates the company’s discipline in protecting shareholder funds.“The best use of our capital is investing in our most advantaged assets,” Wirth said in the statement. “With capital discipline and a conservative outlook comes the responsibility to make the tough choices necessary to deliver higher cash returns to our shareholders over the long term.”Wirth has made crude production from the Permian Basin a centerpiece of his global strategy, with a budget of $4 billion for the shale play next year. The giant Tengiz joint venture in the Caspian Sea, whose total cost has surged to about $45 billion, will receive $3.75 billion from Chevron in 2020.What Bloomberg Intelligence Says“Tengiz project overruns raised questions about Chevron’s commitment to capital discipline, but plans to shelve or divest Appalachia and Kitimat LNG show the company will target returns over resources.”\--Fernando Valle, analyst\--Click here to read the researchU.S. natural gas futures prices have slumped this year amid a supply glut, and are now averaging about $2.54 per million British thermal units. If it finishes the year at that level, it’ll be the lowest average price since 1999.The move to write down Appalachian gas is likely to put pressure on other producers in the region to do the same. Newly built gas export terminals along the U.S. Gulf Coast have so far failed to absorb the excess supply.Chevron held more than 750,000 net acres in the Marcellus and Utica shale formations, which stretch from West Virginia to Pennsylvania and Ohio, according to a 2017 fact sheet on its website. The writedown also encompasses the Big Foot oil platform in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, which began producing last year.(Updates with Kitimat stake sale plan in second paragraph)To contact the reporter on this story: Kevin Crowley in Houston at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Simon Casey at email@example.com, Carlos CaminadaFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Chevron's (CVX) projected organic capex worth $20 billion for 2020 will see no change for the third consecutive year while maintaining its capital discipline through the cycle.
Investing.com -- The Fed will likely leave interest rates unchanged and keep its forward guidance neutral at the end of its two-day policy meeting. The European Union is set to present plans to make Europe climate-neutral by 2050, with far-reaching consequences for polluting industries both at home and abroad. Saudi Aramco (SE:2222) gets off to a flying start on the Riyadh exchange with a little help from its local friends, but Chevron (NYSE:CVX) is taking a massive hit on its oil and gas assets. Here's what you need to know in financial markets on Wednesday, 11th December.
The second-largest U.S. oil company, which plans to hold its 2020 spending program flat at $20 billion, said it may sell shale gas properties and its stake in a Canadian liquefied natural gas project. San Ramon, California-based Chevron and other energy companies have pledged to restrain spending after the collapse in oil prices earlier this decade forced many to borrow to cover the costs of long-term projects. Chevron said it expected writedowns this quarter related to a deepwater Gulf of Mexico project, which needs higher oil prices to churn a profit, and shale gas in Appalachia, which has suffered from low natural gas prices.
Chevron Corporation today announced a 2020 organic capital and exploratory spending program of $20 billion. The 2020 budget supports a robust portfolio of upstream and downstream investments, highlighted by Chevron’s world-class Permian Basin position, the company’s major capital project at TCO in Kazakhstan, and an advantaged queue of deepwater opportunities in the Gulf of Mexico.
2019 has been a tough year for oil companies, but some of the oil majors have fared surprisingly well due to their economies of scale advantage and low breakeven prices per barrel
One of the best investments we can make is in our own knowledge and skill set. With that in mind, this article will...