As a busy 2019 in the oil and gas industry ends, analysts are busy issuing predictions about next year and what they would mean for oil markets and prices.
This year saw a mix of some of the more predictable events—such as OPEC and Russia extending their cooperation pact, twice—and a ‘black swan’ such as the September attacks on Saudi oil facilities which cut off 5 percent of daily global oil supply for weeks.
As black swans are, by definition, unpredictable, analysts focus on predicting the ‘knowns’ in the market for 2020 as they see them at the end of 2019.
There are many factors to watch in oil markets next year, both in the U.S. and globally.
For the sake of simplicity, here are 10 of the most important predictions and factors to watch in the oil and gas industry in the United States and worldwide.
Independent energy analyst David Blackmon has summed up some predictions, concerning mostly the U.S., for Forbes.
And these are:
1) U.S. shale production will continue to grow
U.S. shale growth is slowing down, but all analysts and organizations still expect oil supply from the United States to continue to rise in 2020. Growth may be slower, due to reduced capex from drillers, but U.S. will still be the main contributor to non-OPEC supply growth next year.
2) Rig count will remain stable
Despite the fact that the U.S. oil and rig count declined by more than 250 units this year to December 20 compared to the same time last year, the number of active oil rigs last week saw an increase of 18 rigs—the first double-digit growth since the beginning of April, according to Baker Hughes data. Related: Why Hasn’t Hydrogen Gone Mainstream?
3) U.S. oil and LNG exports will continue to rise
Exports of U.S. oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG) are expected to grow with the increase in infrastructure capacity in 2020.
The United States exported more crude oil and petroleum products than it imported in September 2019—the first month in which America was a net petroleum exporter since monthly records began in 1973, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said earlier this month.
Total U.S. crude oil and petroleum net exports are expected to average 570,000 bpd in 2020 compared with average net imports of 490,000 bpd in 2019, according to EIA’s latest Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO).
4) Oil and gas prices will remain range-bound in 2020
Rising production from non-OPEC nations not part of the OPEC+ deal, driven by the U.S., Brazil, and Norway, is expected to keep a lid on oil prices, while OPEC+ cuts and an expected pick-up in global economic and oil demand growth will keep a floor under prices.
5) Sudden supply outages will have smaller impact on oil prices
Due to the growing non-OPEC supply, unexpected and short-lived outages are likely to have a smaller impact on oil prices than they would have on markets five or ten years ago, analyst Blackmon says.
Case in point—the mid-September attacks on critical Saudi infrastructure sent oil prices soaring—with WTI Crude touching a five-month high of $62.90 a barrel—but just for one day, as slowing demand growth and a protracted trade war weighed on prices.
6) Bankruptcies in the U.S. shale patch are set to grow
The number of bankruptcies and companies seeking protection from creditors is expected to rise in 2020, continuing the trend from 2019.
Haynes and Boone estimated at end-September that the U.S. oil and gas industry had 33 filings year to date in September, more than the number of filings in each of 2017 and 2018, at 24 and 28 filings, respectively.
With reduced capital availability in equity and debt markets, more of the smaller companies could struggle through the next year.
7) U.S. oil and gas mergers & acquisitions are poised to rise
A growing number of distressed U.S. oil and gas firms and few funding options could mean that the ‘smaller guys’ could be acquired by bigger shale players or the smaller guys could team up to scale operations and cut costs.
Signs of consolidation in U.S. shale have already started to emerge, and the wave is expected to continue in 2020. Related: Bullish Sentiment Remains Despite Oil Price Dip
Shareholders of Callon Petroleum and Carrizo Oil & Gas approved an all-stock merger last week.
Two months ago, Parsley Energy and Jagged Peak Energy announced that Parsley would buy Jagged Peak in an all-stock transaction valued at US$2.27 billion, including Jagged Peak’s debt.
“The inevitable consolidation in the Permian has started and Jagged Peak made a decisive move to team up with the right partner,” said S. Wil VanLoh, Jr., a Jagged Peak director and the founder and CEO of Jagged Peak’s controlling shareholder, Quantum Energy Partners.
In its Q3 2019 Oil & Gas deals insights, PwC said:
“In the quarters ahead, we expect to see more companies merging to create scale, companies continuing to focus on generating positive cash flows and shareholder value, while struggling companies will become more amenable to being acquired or seeking restructuring through bankruptcy.”
Internationally, the key factors to watch in oil markets will be:
8) How oil demand growth will fare as the U.S.-China trade dispute de-escalates
Oil prices hit a three-month high on December 13 amid growing optimism of a phase-one trade deal. In the days following the announcement that a phase-one deal had been reached, China removed six chemicals and oil derivatives from its list of tariffed U.S. imports.
9) How OPEC+ cooperation will proceed after March 2020
Another key factor to watch is what OPEC and its Russia-led non-OPEC partners will do after March 2020, when the current agreement for deeper cuts expires. The next move by the cartel and its allies will largely depend on how oil demand growth will fare in the typically low-demand growth season in Q1. The move will also depend on how much oil OPEC and friends will have managed to withhold from the market compared to plans—that is, whether all members will have fallen in line and stopped cheating.
10) Sudden supply outages in restive regions
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Canadian retail sales slow after surpassing pandemic losses – BNN
Gains for Canadian retailers slowed sharply in July and August, suggesting pent-up demand from prior months has been largely extinguished.
Sales grew 0.6 per cent in July, versus 23 per cent in June and 21 per cent in May, Statistics Canada said Friday in Ottawa. Excluding vehicles, receipts unexpectedly dropped 0.4 per cent, versus a forecast gain of 0.5 per cent. Preliminary estimates from the agency show receipts climbed 1.1 per cent in August, suggesting the weaker trend will continue.
The report reinforces warnings that the pace of the recovery will slow in the second half of the year, after a strong V-shaped rebound through the early summer.
“All in all, the numbers imply that retail activity is normalizing after the whipsaw of a huge downturn and recovery,” said Scotiabank economist Brett House in a note.
Core retail sales, or those excluding vehicles and gasoline, dropped 1.2 per cent.
Still, the rebound has been impressive. In July, retail sales were up 2.7 per cent compared with year earlier levels.
1 TSX Stock With a 12% DIVIDEND YIELD to Buy Today – The Motley Fool Canada
The year 2020 is continuing to be highly volatile for the Toronto Stock Exchange. In March, the index saw a sharp surge in volatility after the COVID-19 cases started rising in the country. While the market seems to be on a path of a sharp recovery, massive sell-offs every now and then (like the one we saw in the first week of September) continue to haunt investors.
Market volatility is likely to continue
Despite the broader market recovery in recent months, the ongoing pandemic-related uncertainties are expected to keep stocks highly volatile in the near term. Also, the upcoming U.S. general elections could add to this volatility.
That’s why it’s a good idea for Canadian investors to play it safe and start minimizing their risk exposure. Adding some stocks with good fundamentals from various industries is one way to minimize risks.
Role of dividends in minimizing risks
Another great option is to add some high-dividend-yielding stocks in your portfolio right now. Doing so would not only help you minimize your risk exposure but would also ensure that you continue to get regular income from your investments in the form of dividends.
If you don’t want to use this annual income yourself, you can reinvest these dividends in stocks to boost the overall investment return.
The top TSX dividend stock
Brookfield Property Partners (TSX:BPY.UN)(NASDAQ:BPY) is the highest-dividend-yielding stock on TSX. Currently, it has a solid double-digit dividend yield of nearly 12% — much higher than any other Canadian company.
It’s a Hamilton-based commercial real estate firm. Apart from its unbelievably attractive dividend yield, its strong fundamentals give you more reasons to buy Brookfield Property Partners stock and hold it forever.
In 2019, Brookfield Property Partners rose by 37% to about US$7 billion. The company reported US$1.95 billion adjusted net profit last year with an amazingly high net profit margin of 27.9%.
In the first half of this year, the COVID-19-related restrictions and shutdowns took a big toll on the real estate business and the housing market. As a result, Brookfield reported a US$1.2 billion net loss in the second quarter of 2020. Nonetheless, analysts expect the ongoing recovery in the real estate business to boost the company’s bottom line in the next couple of quarters. According to Bay Street analysts’ estimates, its 2020 net profit is likely to be at around US$104 million.
In 2021, Brookfield Property Partners’s net profit is expected to be over US$2.1 billion — much higher as compared to its 2019 profits. Overall, it proves that analysts expect the COVID-19-related headwinds to be temporary for the company, as the pandemic might not affect its long-term financial growth trend.
Brookfield Property Partners stock
On a year-to-date basis, Brookfield Property Partners stock is trading deep in negative territory with 37% losses. However, its stock has already started a sharp recovery in the third quarter as it has risen by 11.2% in the ongoing quarter so far. These gains are much higher as compared to only 5.3% quarter-to-date rise in the S&P/TSX60 Index.
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Canadian airlines cancelling flights again as hoped-for bounceback in demand fizzles – CBC.ca
Rachel Farrell can now claim the unfortunate distinction of having two destination weddings called off in one year.
The 26-year-old event co-ordinator had booked a Transat flight out of Halifax for Feb. 15, 2021, as part of her planned nuptials in the Dominican Republic but was told this week the airline had cancelled the trip and would not make the journey until six days later.
She and her fiancé had first booked their trip package for last April, but it was nixed by Transat after the airline grounded its entire fleet due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The problem is increasingly common, with Canadian airlines cancelling hundreds of flights as hopes for a spike in demand fall flat, snarling plans for the few passengers who remain.
“I was upset but understood that it wasn’t Air Transat’s fault, so we would wait until air travel resumed and rebook as soon as we could, since refunds weren’t an option,” Farrell said.
She did that in July, rebooking the flight for February using a travel credit based on the $37,000 she and her nearly two-dozen guests had paid for the package.
“Even though they knowingly chose to cancel my rebooked wedding group, they still won’t give us a refund,” Farrell said, noting the airline is again offering credit.
“My travel agent has told me that even if I rebook next week, they might still push the dates further…. I don’t know what to do now, and all I really want is to get married.”
Air Canada and WestJet have cancelled at least 439 flights so far this month, according to figures from flight data firm Cirium.
The cancellations come after airlines banked on a return of business travel and a continued uptick in leisure trips in the fall, said John Gradek, who heads McGill University’s Global Aviation Leadership program.
“They’ve decided since about the end of July to let loose on scheduled services and increasing the number of routes, at the same time hoping that the government will loosen up some of its restrictions. And that’s not been the case,” he said.
Now, airlines are cancelling the half-booked flights and consolidating passengers on remaining ones to cut costs.
“There has not been a take-up by the Canadian travelling public of those seats that are being offered by the carriers, so they’re cutting back those services significantly … and it’s being done piecemeal rather than being done wholesale,” Gradek said.
The letdown builds on an already devastating year.
Transat revenues fell by 99 per cent year over year in the last quarter, when the travel company operated flights for just one week.
Air Canada saw passenger revenues drop 95 per cent, prompting 20,000 layoffs as the airline burned through $19 million per day. WestJet has laid off about 4,000 employees since March.
Air traffic in August fell by two-thirds compared with a year earlier, according to Nav Canada, which operates air navigation across the country.
Flight consolidation does not always result in upended plans or wedding dilemmas.
“Sometimes airline schedules require minor surgery and sometimes major surgery,” said Mike Malik, head of marketing at Cirium.
The itinerary change can sometimes mean a departure delay of an hour rather than a week.
“We know that most travellers right now are not business travellers,” Malik said. “These are VFR travellers — visiting friends and relatives. So if you’re visiting friends and relatives, you probably don’t need a 7 a.m. flight for a 9 a.m. meeting in Toronto.”
The reassurance comes as cold comfort for Darlene Hatter, who was twice slated to attend her son’s destination wedding in Costa Rica, with both flights from Toronto now cancelled.
Her son, Robert Przybylski, 35, is now out $15,000, as well as the $2,800 each of his 85 guests shelled out, she said.
“It’s very frustrating,” Hatter said.
“The airlines in my opinion are taking advantage big time of this and stomping on the little people just because they can. The government needs to step up and tell these airlines to give people their refunds.”
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