Aubrey McClendon, the wildcatter who pioneered the U.S. shale revolution by going where big oil companies wouldn’t, is at it again. This time in Australia.
Emboldened by the exodus of producers such as Chevron Corp. and Statoil ASA from Australian shale, McClendon and private- equity investor John Raymond are pouncing amid the rout in global crude prices and a dearth of other ready investors.
Australia is home to the world’s sixth-largest shale oil reserves and seventh-biggest tranche of shale gas.
McClendon’s American Energy Partners LP is negotiating two acquisitions with a combined value of more than $160 million for Australian drilling rights that span an area the size of New York state. That followed the disclosure last week that Raymond’s Energy & Minerals Group agreed to invest in Pangaea Resources Pty.’s shale holdings in the country.
Chevron quit an Australian shale venture earlier this year as tumbling crude prices prompted the second-largest U.S. oil producer to conduct an internal reassessment of investment priorities. ConocoPhillips, Hess Corp. and Statoil ASA had already abandoned Australia’s shale patch by that point.
Brent crude futures, a benchmark for international oil prices, dropped 59 percent in the past 14 months as a flood of supply from North American shale and Persian Gulf fields overwhelmed demand.
McClendon’s American Energy signed a letter of intent and a three-month exclusivity agreement with Armour Energy Ltd. to acquire a 75 percent stake in 21.5 million acres (8.7 million hectares) of drilling rights, Brisbane, Australia-based Armour said in a statement on Thursday.
Armour shares surged as much as 70 percent after the announcement before closing 49 percent higher Thursday in Sydney.Much, much more at the link.
Algeria In Economic "Crisis"
Platts is reporting:
New oil minister Salah Khebri, like his predecessor Youcef Yousfi, is convinced that something has to be done -- whether inside OPEC or in collaboration with non-OPEC countries -- and that the status quo is not sustainable.
For sure, Algeria has a lot riding on the oil price. [Well, duh.]
In January, Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal said Algeria was in a state of economic "crisis" and would defer a number of key infrastructure projects due to the falling oil price.
The dual impact of low prices and stagnant production means Algeria is among the world's oil producers most badly hit by the change in market dynamics: the price slide had resulted in a 45% drop in Algeria's quarterly revenue from oil and gas exports.I don't know where else Algeria exports its oil, but this graph doesn't appear to have a lot of good news for Algeria:
This is not just low, this is record-setting low.
I would hope that President Obama recognizes Algeria for doing its part in decreasing CO2 emissions, either directly or indirectly. It appears Algeria is doing more to cut CO2 emissions than anything Algore has ever done.