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壳牌和BP股价因油价暴跌而遭受重创

2021-01-05     来源: 中国石化新闻网
石化新闻

    中国石化新闻网讯 据12月30日Investing.com报道,即使今年没有出现疫情危机,在2019年底人们就担心,大型石油巨头在向可再生能源过渡方面进展太慢,同时也担心它们的高负债率会使其更容易受到需求突然下滑以及价格大幅下跌的影响。

    对于英国石油公司来说,其杠杆率已经超过30%,尤其容易受到影响,尽管新任首席执行官伯纳德•鲁尼(Bernard Looney)已开始制定一项计划,以降低杠杆率,但人们担心的是,事态可能会对整个行业带来严重影响。尽管壳牌的杠杆率较低,只有25%左右,并且在投资可再生能源方面更为积极主动,但该公司也有相似的问题。

    去年11月,壳牌收购了法国浮式风力涡轮机公司Eolfi,并表示将在2025年前将其年度支出的10%用于新能源项目。在整个2019年气候问题在政治上受到更高关注的时候,这个数字在当时看来是相当低的。也许是去年底的油价水平,以及欧佩克+支持油价的努力,让石油高管们滋生了自满情绪。

    今年年初,由于欧佩克+成员国一系列延长产量限制规模的措施,使油价接近近两年来的最高水平。在2019年的大部分时间里油价基本维持在每桶60美元以上的水平,在全球需求出现需求明显放缓迹象之际,这一协议是为了保持利润率。

    石油产量接近世纪最低水平

    去年11月,欧佩克国家的日产量为2680万桶,低于2018年10月的3290万桶,原因是中国和德国制造业放缓,以及贸易紧张局势加剧,抑制了需求。但是,包括俄罗斯在内的非欧佩克国家的日产量仍达到1880万桶,使去年11月的日产量达到4560万桶。

    这其中值得关注的就是美国的页岩行业,根据当时EIA数据显示,随着2015年以来油价的上涨,产能恢复正常,日产量达到约1250万桶。今年,欧佩克总产量已降至2470万桶/天,尽管已从6月份的2250万桶/天低点回升,但产量仍接近本世纪的最低水平。

    6月份的数据是自1991年以来录得的最低月度日产量数据,因为对油价暴跌的担忧促使欧佩克+试图为市场稳定石油价格底线,同时保持储存能力,该组织成员国大幅减产。今年3月和4月全球石油不断的禁运,导致市场对石油及其副产品的需求崩溃,炼油厂产能被迅速填满。此外,美国汽油使用量一度降至26年来的最低水平,迫使美国页岩油生产商关闭部分产能,因为石油储存容量很快就被填满。

    虽然新冠肺炎疫情的爆发与石油价格暴跌有很大关系,但在今年第一季度出现价格暴跌之前,需求就已经出现下降,美国的油价已经出现了负增长,至每桶40美元。

    美国油价暴跌导致一些规模较小的美国页岩油运营商倒闭,这些运营商无法与创纪录低位的油价抗衡。在多数情况下,它们的盈亏平衡价格在每桶50美元左右。布伦特原油价格一度跌至每桶15美元的低点,之后随着出行限制措施的放松和产量的减少开始产生影响,价格触底回升。

    油价暴跌导致英国石油公司、壳牌公司和埃克森美孚公司的股价也出现了下滑,尽管随着油价持续下跌,这些公司的股价已经见底,但随后的价格反弹并没有为其提供助力,因为油价回落到上世纪90年代中期的水平原因很多。

    英国石油被迫削减股息并实行裁员

    几年前人们就知道,由于英国石油的高杠杆率,其股息是一个令人担忧的问题,然后在2018年,他们又将100亿美元用于购买必和必拓的页岩资产,从而加剧了这一错误。当时,大型主权财富基金和大型投资者已经开始撤出对石油和天然气资产的投资。这些决定在今年4月带来危机,迫使BP以新的循环信贷安排形式额外融资100亿美元,并发行70亿美元新债券。令人难以置信的是,在8月份被迫咬紧牙关削减股息之前,在6月份减记150亿美元,并宣布裁员1万人之后,仍决定支付相同水平的股息。

    随着股息减半,如今,管理层面临着调整业务规模的挑战,以适应全球经济对其核心产品的需求可能大幅下降的困境。英国石油在10月份表示,公司今年的资本支出预算仍将达到120亿美元,并预计2021年的资本支出将在130亿至150亿美元区间。就其转型议程而言,BP已同意通过与Equinor的一项协议进军海上风电领域,该协议预计将于明年完成。BP还在寻求扩大其Chargemaster业务,为苏格兰警方部署1000多个充电点。虽然这些都令人鼓舞,但它们都是非常小的项目,这意味着该公司新的“边表演边转型”战略可能需要更多的耐心。

    壳牌在处理一些遗留问题(搁浅资产)方面略微领先,但今年该公司遭受的痛苦程度丝毫没有减轻。去年年底,该公司第4季度减值支出在17亿至23亿美元之间,同时将资本支出预期下调至240亿至290亿美元区间的下限。

    壳牌第二季度亏损180亿美元并削减股息

    今年4月,壳牌管理层紧随其后,做出了自1945年以来首次不受欢迎的削减股息的决定,将股息从每股0.47美元降至0.16美元,并取消了回购计划。今年6月,该公司进一步减记了220亿美元的资产,随后公布第二季度亏损180亿美元。随后,该公司在10月份又计入了10亿美元和15亿美元的第三季度减值支出,这帮助其将股息提高到了每股0.1665美元。该公司还表示,到2022年底,将裁员9000人。

    这场疫情将人们的注意力集中在当市场走出疫情困境时可能出现的全球经济局势上。现在最大的问题是,大型石油公司是否采取了足够迅速的行动,以保护自己的现金流,同时减少碳排放,使它们能够转变商业模式,以满足不断变化的气候目标。

    大型石油公司面临向可再生能源转型的压力

    壳牌公司曾表示,希望到2050年将温室气体排放量降至零,英国石油也是如此,甚至他们的目标比埃克森美孚(Exxon)和雪佛龙(Chevron)等公司更为雄心勃勃。事实是,如果各国政府采取更环保的政策,它们可能会被迫迅速削减开支。为此,面对环境压力,这一期限很可能会发生改变,英国石油公司首席执行官伯纳德·鲁尼以及壳牌公司首席执行官本·范布尔登将着手解决从化石燃料向可再生能源过渡方面的问题,其速度将尽可能地使股东和气候活动人士都感到满意。此外,随着政界人士面临越来越大的压力,他们被要求减少化石燃料的使用,推动可再生能源投资,因此还有政府干预的风险。

    随着可再生能源将成为英国日益增长的一部分以及世界级的能源需求,英国石油公司和壳牌等公司有能力比政府更快地提供解决方案。加上各类环保人士对气候问题的人士不断提高,石油巨头们需要表明自己拥有在气候问题上能够提供领先的解决方案的能力。目前,围绕可再生能源的资本支出仍远低于分配给大型油气项目的支出水平,这种情况确实需要改变。

    未来几个月是否会有更好的表现,可能首先将取决于4月份以来的油价反弹是否能够持续,同时也取决于这两家公司在改变传统商业模式方面是否能取得成功。BP和壳牌在天然气业务和削减成本方面都取得了不错的进展,但仍需取得更多进展,特别是在可再生能源方面。

    王佳晶 摘译自 Investing.com

    原文如下:

    Shell And BP Share Price Clobbered By Oil Price Collapse

    Even without this year’s pandemic, there were concerns at the end of last year that the big oil majors were running at too slow a pace with respect to the transition towards renewables, as well as a fear that their high gearings would make them susceptible to a sudden downward lurch in demand, as well as a sharp fall in prices.

    BP (LON:BP) in particular was especially susceptible given that it was already running a gearing well in excess of 30%, and while new CEO Bernard Looney had started to outline a plan to get this gearing down, the worry was that events may well overtake him, and the sector as a whole. Shell (LON:RDSa)’s problems were fairly similar, albeit it did have a lower gearing of around 25%, and has been a little more proactive when it comes to investing in renewables.

    In November last year, Shell bought French floating wind turbine company Eolfi and said it would devote 10% of its yearly spending to new energy projects by 2025. At a time when climate issues had seen a much higher profile politically through 2019, this still seemed a rather low number at the time, but maybe the price of oil at the end of last year, and the attempts by Opec+ to support prices, was breeding a sense of complacency among senior oil executives.

    At the beginning of the year oil prices were trading close to their highest levels in nearly two years, as a result of a series of production cap extensions by the members of Opec+, which had helped prop prices largely above the $60 a barrel level for most of 2019. This agreement was an attempt to preserve profit margins at a time when global demand was showing signs of slowing down quite markedly.

    Oil output close to century-low levels

    In November last year, Opec countries produced 26.8m barrels a day, down from the 32.9m barrels in October 2018, as manufacturing slowdowns in China and Germany, as well as rising trade tensions, acted as a brake on demand. Non-Opec countries, including Russia, also produced 18.8m barrels a day, bringing the daily output total in November last year to 45.6m barrels a day.

    In among all of this is the US shale story, which with the rise in oil prices since 2015, saw productive capacity come back on line, with daily output of around 12.5m barrels a day, according to the EIA at the time. One year on and total Opec output has fallen to 24.7m barrels a day, and though it has recovered from the 22.5m barrels a day low in June, output still remains near the lowest levels this century.

    June’s number was the lowest monthly daily output figure since 1991, as concerns over the collapse in prices prompted OPEC to slash production in an attempt to put a floor under the market, as well as preserve storage capacity, as global lockdowns rolled out in March and April and caused global demand for oil, and its by-products, to collapse and refinery capacity to fill up rapidly.

    At one point US gasoline use fell to its lowest level in 26 years, forcing US shale producers to consider turning off the taps, as storage capacity quickly filled up.

    While the pandemic has obviously had a large part to do with the collapse in prices, demand had been falling even before the price crash that we saw in the first quarter of this year, and which saw US prices go negative, to the tune of -$40 a barrel.

    The collapse in the US oil price brought about the demise of a number of smaller US shale operators, who were unable to contend with oil prices at record low levels, especially since in most cases their breakeven prices were around $50 a barrel. At one point, Brent prices fell as low as $15 a barrel, before bottoming out as lockdowns were eased and the reduction in output started to have an effect.

    As can be seen from the chart above, the collapse in oil prices caused a similar slide in the share prices of BP, Shell and Exxon, and while they bottomed out as oil prices continued to decline, the subsequent rebound in prices hasn’t helped them in any way shape or form, as prices slipped back to levels last seen in the mid-1990s. There are any number of reasons for this, but the main ones are mainly to do with an unwillingness to take some of the tougher decisions that needed to be taken from at least as far back as two years ago, with BP one of the biggest culprits.

    BP writedown forces dividend cut, jobs cull

    It’s been known for several years that BP’s dividend was a matter of concern, due to its high gearing, and then in 2018 they compounded that error by spending $10bn on the shale assets of BHP Billiton (LON:BHPB), at a time when large sovereign wealth funds and big investors were already starting to pull back from investing in oil and gas assets. These decisions came home to roost in April, forcing the company to raise an extra $10bn in the form of a new revolving credit facility, as well as issuing $7bn in new bonds. It, therefore, beggared belief that they still decided to pay the same level of dividend, before being forced to bite the bullet and cut it in August, but only after taking a $15bn writedown in June, as well as announcing the loss of 10,000 jobs.

    With the dividend halved, management is now faced with the challenge of rightsizing the business for a global economy that is likely to see much lower demand for its core products. BP said in October that it remains on target to meet its capex budget this year at $12bn, and expects 2021 capex to come in at the lower end of the $13bn to $15bn range. In terms of its transformation agenda, BP has agreed to enter the offshore wind sector through a deal with Equinor, which is expected to complete next year and is also looking to expand its Chargemaster business to deploy over 1,000 charging points for Police Scotland. While all of this is encouraging, these are very much small ticket items, which means that their new “Performing while Transforming” strategy is likely to require a lot more patience. The dividend was kept unchanged at 5.25c.

    Royal Dutch Shell has been slightly ahead of the game when it comes to dealing with some of its legacy issues, or stranded assets as they are sometimes known, but this year has been no less painful. At the end of last year, the company took a Q4 impairment charge of between $1.7bn and $2.3bn, while reducing its capex guidance to the lower end of a $24bn and $29bn range.

    Shell reports $18bn Q2 loss, cuts dividend

    In April this year, Shell management followed this up by taking the unpopular decision to cut the dividend for the first time since 1945, from $0.47 a share to $0.16 a share, as well as rolling up its buyback programme. In June, the company went further and wrote down the value of its assets by up to $22bn, before posting an $18bn loss in its Q2 numbers. This was then followed up in October by taking another $1bn and $1.5bn in impairment charges in Q3, though it did nudge the dividend up to $0.1665 a share. The company also said it would be looking to cut 9,000 jobs between now and the end of 2022.

    While all of the above has the sense of management playing catch up, what the pandemic has done is focus minds on the sort of global economy that is likely to emerge when we come out of the dark Covid hole we are currently in. The big question now is whether the big oil companies have acted swiftly enough to safeguard their cash flow, at the same time as reducing their carbon emissions in a manner that will allow them to transition their business models to be able to meet everchanging climate targets.

    Pressure to grow on transition to renewables

    Shell has said it wants to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, or sooner, as has BP, and while their aims are more ambitious than the likes of Exxon and Chevron (NYSE:CVX), the reality is they could be forced to cut quickly if governments adopt more climate-friendly policies. To that end, this deadline could well change in the face of environmental pressure, and it will be up to BP CEO Bernard Looney, as well as Shell CEO Ben van Buerden, as to how they go about tackling the issue of transitioning away from fossil fuels towards renewables, at a pace that keeps the competing claims of shareholders and climate activists happy. There is also the risk of government intervention as politicians come under increasing pressure to discourage fossil fuel usage and drive investment in renewables.

    With renewables set to become a growing part of the UK and the world’s energy needs, companies like BP and Shell have the financial clout to be able to deliver solutions quicker than governments, and with awareness surrounding climate issues rising as a result of organisations like Extinction Rebellion, the oil majors need to show that they are at the forefront of climate solutions. Currently, capital expenditure around renewables remains well below the levels allocated to big oil and gas projects, and this really needs to change, as we look towards 2021.

    Whether or not we see a better performance in the months ahead is likely to depend on firstly, whether current rebounds in the oil price so far since April are sustained, but also in how successful both companies are in diversifying away from their traditional business models. Both have made decent progress in terms of their gas businesses and in cutting costs, but more progress needs to be made, particularly around renewables.

    "DISCLAIMER: CMC Markets is an execution only provider. The material (whether or not it states any opinions) is for general information purposes only, and does not take into account your personal circumstances or objectives. Nothing in this material is (or should be considered to be) financial, investment or other advice on which reliance should be placed.

    No opinion given in the material constitutes a recommendation by CMC Markets or the author that any particular investment, security, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. "

 
 
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