The recent and dramatic decline in the price of oil illustrates the risk every oil and gas producer faces with energy commodity price volatility. Although depressed prices forced operators to shut-in production to save their bottom lines, companies with hedges were left in a much better position than those who had forgone the option to reduce the impact of unanticipated revenue declines. Without the protection of an effective hedging program, an upstream company’s cash flows are wholly subject to the volatility of the market. Luckily, with upward price projections for the coming year, institutions distributing hedges to major oil companies for a portion of anticipated production may see greater returns than recent years, most certainly greater than 2020. As the story of 2021 continues to show upward crude price projections, it will be important to keep a close eye on which companies choose to hedge early for guaranteed revenue protection and those that hold out or hold off in hopes of a better tomorrow.
Progress towards global decarbonization is quickly becoming one of the hottest topics in 2021 following the momentum experienced in 2020. Dozens of countries, multitudes of cities, and countless companies have announced their goals to achieve net-zero emissions on their path towards decarbonization by mid-century. The problem is, most of these announcements lack any specific path forward. As a part of this movement, the International Energy Agency announced that it will produce the world’s first comprehensive roadmap for the energy sector to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 as it further strengthens its leadership role in global clean energy transitions. But is the world prepared for such a transition as the clean energy infrastructure is clearly not yet capable of supplying reliable energy on a global scale as seen in the recent blackouts in China and California?
After graduating from the Colorado School of Mines with his bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering, Matt Halker accumulated 6 years’
E&P companies have driven away investors in the energy sector by not delivering returns amongst a global pursuit for decarbonization. While investor disenchantment within the United States oil industry isn’t new, it appears to have worsened with the COVID-19 market environment. From 2015 to 2016 at the start of the “lower-for-longer” downturn, the market seemed optimistic about the industry. By 2020, the double impact of the global pandemic and the Russia/Saudi price war seems to have led many investors to avoid oil stocks and as they start seeking new opportunities. Moving forward into 2021 and 2022, capital will be difficult to source until investors feel comfortable that the industry can develop resources without squandering their money again.