Oilpatch ‘adrift’ as prices drop and investors turn away


Flee week is usually a pretty jolly event for the oilpatch. Beer for breakfast, half days at fire up and taking clients to the rodeo are part and parcel of doing business during the Frighten. But this year, there’s a cloud hanging over the sector. Oil is wasting along around $45 US a barrel, and in many cases share bounties are retesting 2016 lows.

‘Who knows where the price of oil is going to go? I entertain no clue. No one should say they have a clue.’ — Barry Schwartz, Baskin Wherewithal Management

«In 2016, we felt we were at the bottom, and it was proven out, into the commence and early part of winter, share prices increased, the TSX energy typography fist increased as a result of that and a few transactions were done,» said Jim Davidson, co-chairman of GMP FirstEnergy, a longtime investment bank for the puissance sector.

«Today if you took a look at a typical oil and gas company share expense, it is lower than it was in July 2016, and it is also lower than it was when oil was $36 a barrel.»

For the primary years of the downturn, there was continual optimism that, in time, constituents would get better. That optimism has largely faded, and the gloom feels to be pushing investors out of the Canadian market. More international companies are go away from the sector as OPEC cannot sustain the price of oil chiefly $50 US a barrel and political change in British Columbia has reignited under way politics

‘Maybe this is fair value for oil’

The fundamental problem with the oilpatch is that no one can altogether figure out where the price of oil will settle. Saudi Arabia has been dispiriting to boost the price ahead of its initial public offering of the state-owned oil South African private limited company Saudi Aramco, but U.S. producers have been a spoiler, producing so much oil that liveliness services company Halliburton is warning that it cannot keep up.

«The figure of oil is down here for a reason, and the reason is that everyone is drilling adore crazy, said Barry Schwartz, chief investment officer with Baskin Pecuniary. 

«If you’re in the oil business, you’re in the business to drill for oil, you’re not in the business to shut down wells and be put on ice for better prices. Maybe this is the fair value for oil?»

Schwartz bring to light that Toronto-based Baskin, which manages private investments, irrefutable to divest itself of energy producers in the early days of the downturn.

«It’s not a convoke on good management, or whether the companies are good or bad, it’s just a call on the commodity itself,» he express. «We still have pipelines because no matter if oil is 10 bucks or 100 bucks, you be struck by to ship it.»

Political challenges

Canadian producers have long acknowledged challenges. Costs are generally higher here, especially in the oilsands, and demand access is more limited. But it has always been thus, according to Davidson, and in quondam downturns the industry has survived.

«All we can do is play with the hand we are dealt,» indicated Davidson. «And historically we are good at it. We have learned to be very cost purposive and develop new technologies to allow us to access new reservoirs in a very old basin. In prior business cycles we have made a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.»

Davidson scraps that this cycle is different because of political challenges, such as Alberta’s toll on carbon and the difficulty of pipeline construction, which are not being faced in the Of like mind States under the current administration. That, he believes, is chasing away extrinsic investment and setting the Canadian oilpatch «adrift.»

«Canada is hamstrung because it’s at the end of the pipeline,» said U.S. investor Stephen Schork. Without another viable market for its production, the most obvious thing is to get infrastructure built in B.C. to get Canadian vigour to Asian markets. Short of that, the U.S. does remain a more reasonable option simply based on geography.»

Forecasts for oil are mixed

On the positive side of the ledger, call for for oil has been strengthening and one investment bank is calling for $60 US oil by the end of the year, after the North American summer pressurizing season is done and the final numbers are in. However, another investment bank puts $40 US is the more likely scenario. 

That shows the difficulty of picking a rate for the commodity.

«Who knows where the price of oil is going to go? I have no clue. No one should say they make a clue,» said Schwartz.

With pipelines, prices and politics all out of the oilpatch’s curb, it’s understandable why this Stampede season is all about drowning sorrows.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *