Showing posts with label Rovuma Offshore Area. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rovuma Offshore Area. Show all posts

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Out of its ‘Shell’ & into the ‘Cove’ plus ‘Providence’

Many analysts thought supermajor Royal Dutch Shell which was embroiled in a bidding war for London-listed Cove Energy for better parts of Q1 this year, would emerge out of its conservative shell and trump rival bids from Thailand’s PTTEP and a couple of interested parties from India outright.

In the end the deal was sealed by a conservative, albeit apparently successful, counter offer by Shell for the East Africa focussed E&P company. Having seen its offer for US$1.6 billion back in February trumped by PTTEP, the Anglo-Dutch major returned to the table with a bid of US$1.81 billion which matched rather than bettered the Thai state company’s offer.

On April 24, Cove’s directors accepted and recommended Shell's offer which the Oilholic thinks had much to do with Mozambique as a nation wanting Shell’s expertise as well as its investment. The possibility of a bid battle has now receded; more so as the agreement includes a break fee clause, under which Cove Energy will have to pay Shell US$18 million if it now accepts a rival bid.

An approval from the government of Mozambique is awaited as Shell eyes Cove’s main asset – an 8.5% stake in the Rovuma Offshore Area 1 in the country where Anadarko projects recoverable reserves of 30 tcf of natural gas. Shell as a company continues to be in good nick having recently announced a rise in Q1 profits while rival ExxonMobil saw its profits dip. On an annualised basis, Shell Q1 profits were up 11% at US$7.66 billion while in a strange coincidence Exxon’s profits fell 11% to US$9.45 billion. Both majors said oil prices would be ‘volatile’ in the coming months.

Talking about the luck of the Irish, London and Dublin listed Providence Resources’ quest for Black Gold off the coast of Ireland appears to be on song. The company, which dug Ireland’s first oil prospection well that might be anywhere near profitability, looks good for its 520pence plus share price on the AIM when the Oilholic last checked.

This accolade of Ireland’s first profitable oil well goes to Barryroe prospection field, some 70km off Cork, where a future full-scale extraction to the tune of nearly 4000 barrels per day – which makes a lot of commercial sense – is within relative touching distance. Providence Resources also holds drilling permits in Northern Ireland. Since Irish crude prospection has been riddled with disappointments, Providence deserves a pat on the back and its current share price for its effort.

How do UK petrol prices compare with other countries?Finally, the Oilholic is a bit miffed about being told by people that the UK now has the most expensive petrol price in the world, which it clearly does not. Yours truly knows that prices at the pump bite everyone, but we Brits aren’t the worst off.

However, to argue otherwise often results in farcically loud arguments especially with people who think the more inexpert they are, the more valid their opinion is! Thankfully, experts at Staveley Head – a provider of specialist insurance products – have some handy figures to back up the Oilholic which suggest that while UK is almost always on the list of the most expensive countries to buy petrol – it is not the most expensive (yet).

Click on their infographic - the Global Petrol Price Index (above right) - to compare the UK with the others. It would suggest that current price per litre is the highest in Norway, followed by Turkey, Netherlands, Italy and Greece. That’s all for the moment folks! Keep reading, keep it ‘crude’!

© Gaurav Sharma 2012. Photo: Shell Gas Station © Royal Dutch Shell. Infographic: Global Petrol Price Index © Staveley Head.

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For comments or for professional queries, please email: gaurav.sharma@oilholicssynonymous.com

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