Chesapeake :Downgraded To Junk at Fitch – Further Evidence The Energy Sector Slide Continues

 

( FROM Seeking Alpha)
Nov 6 2015, 17:45 ET | About: Chesapeake Energy Corporation (CHK) | By: Carl Surran, SA News Editor
Chesapeake Energy’s (NYSE:CHK) debt rating is cut further below investment grade, to BB- from BB, by Fitch Ratings; shares fell 2.6% in today’s trade, in line with other energy producers as crude oil prices fell and amid the higher likelihood of a Fed rate hike.

Fitch says CHK’s cash flow, liquidity and leverage profiles will be “notably weaker” than previous expectations because of persistently low oil and gas price realizations and heightened future reliance on asset sales to fund cash flow gaps; it also cites CHK’s increasingly limited ability to invest in its highest return assets in favor of operationally committed and shorter-cycle reserves.Fitch concedes that CHK’s size and scale relative to other high-yield E&P companies provides considerable financial flexibility.

and from Forbes

This Oil Bust Will Change The Energy Industry Forever

Although demand for oil and gas will continue for decades to come, it will gradually diminish as renewable energy sources rise. A lot could happen between then and now. The International Energy Agency (IEA) and many other credible parties continue to forecast that our growing world population from 7 billion people today to 9 billion by 2050 will need much more energy – in particular as most of these people will aspire a life like we have here in North America. So it is no wonder that Abdalla El-Badri, Secretary General of OPEC has recently said that if producers don’t invest in new oil and gas supply, we could see oil prices as high as $200 a barrel. On the other hand, there is Bob Dudley, CEO of BP , who believes we won’t see $100 oil again “for a long time”.

Innovation in the oil industry, particularly the North American revolution in the hydraulic fracturing of tight oil reservoirs, has changed oil supply dramatically. With smaller, more flexible capital-light projects and shorter lead times, fracking has enabled greater adaptability to volatile market conditions. The outlook for shale oil and gas could be just as strong in many places in the world. Even if the shale boom proves tough to replicate (due to factors such as regional differences in geology, regulation and incentives to land owners), in many cases bringing new technologies to mature fields will help keep supply up and dampen the increase in oil prices.

Sluggish demand is another important factor keeping oil prices from rising. Not just from disappointing growth in China, but also in North America. Car ownership in the Western world has started to drop in the past decade, especially among young people. Based on the early success of Tesla and arrival of car sharing companies like Car2Go and Uber, and the entry of Apple AAPL +0.83% and Google GOOGL +0.13%in the autonomous-driving car game, there’s reason to foresee a future where not everyone has a personally owned internal combustion engine at their disposal. Change is slow however: a truck or bus and many gasoline fueled cars sold today will of course drive somewhere in the world for the next 30 to 40 years. Hence, some demand for hydrocarbons will continue.

The financial sector is a third factor inhibiting the rise of oil prices. While we already see many financial institutions divesting from hydrocarbon stocks to the tune of $2.6 trillionbecause of social and environmental pressure, the recent speech by Bank of England Governor Mark Carney is further going to influence the willingness of large financial institutions to continue to invest in traditional hydrocarbon projects in the future. One of the most significant risks Carney focused on in his speech is transitionary cost, the cost of write-offs for traditional hydrocarbon assets if countries are indeed getting serious about phasing out hydrocarbons. Even while the target date for a 100% carbon free society is only 2100, we expect that policies will likely start having significant implications in the next decades. The message is that “Sustainable Innovation” may become key to future energy financings and that oil and gas companies will have to innovate much more than they do today in order to survive as energy-producing Fortune 500 companies in the decades to come.

 

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