The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the energy sector. Writing in Euractiv, Simon Redmond and Elena Anankina, Senior Directors at S&P Global Ratings, analyse the contrasting effects of the outbreak on the oil and natural gas sectors, and the implications for the wider energy transition.
Oil has suffered the most pronounced short-term impact of all energy sources, with demand falling by over 20 million barrels a day in March and April 2020 alone. On the other hand, gas has remained relatively resilient to the immediate impacts of the pandemic.
The downside for gas, rather, is expected to be longer term: its role as a “bridge fuel” is set to be shortened by an expedited transition to renewables. And, while oil demand has taken a short-term hit, its long term trajectory is set to be largely unchanged. The full article, in Euractiv, can be found here.
In September, California Governor, Jerry Brown, unveiled a new gold standard for renewable energy in the U.S. – a mandate requiring the state to go 100% “green” by 2045. Yet for all the bill’s praise, a report published by S&P Global Ratings suggests that numerous technological and political challenges lie ahead.
As California edges towards its renewable goal, the economics of gas-fired generation promises to worsen. On the flip side, renewable energy will of course benefit though the extent of this will depend on the asset type. The durability and reliability of hydro and geothermal power, for instance, put these assets in pole position. Question marks remain over solar and wind, however: the intermittent nature of these resources will, according to some estimates, necessitate a 200-fold increase in battery storage. Development in this sector has yet to truly take off.
Following Moorgate’s outreach, Climate Change News, Infrastructure Investor, Energy Manager Today, Energy Manager Today, NA Clean Energy, and Environmental Finance covered the news.
On the recent November ballot, Colorado’s citizens voted against measures that would have changed the nature of the state’s oil and gas development. Before the vote’s defeat, S&P Global Ratings published a report outlining the possible risks for energy exploration and production (E&P) companies, should the proposal be made law.
Proposition 112 would have required that E&P companies extend well setbacks (the permissible distance between a wellhead and surrounding structures) from 500 feet to 2,500 feet. This distance would have, in effect, rendered 85% of the state unusable for oil and gas drilling. By some estimates, this could have decreased the state’s GDP by some US$26 billion annually by 2030.
Michael Grande, director, S&P Global Ratings, said: “Passage of Proposition 112 is clearly a credit negative for the energy companies we rate, and it will affect some companies more than others.”
Following Moorgate’s outreach, Upstream (behind a paywall), Oil Voice, and Oil Gas Journal covered the news.
S&P Global Ratings has published its inaugural edition of U.S Corporate Insights – answering the questions on investors’ mind regarding the latest corporate credit trends, such as: how are looming trade wars and higher debt levels affecting appetite? And, as we near the latter stages of the credit cycle, is the current state of play one of peak, plateau, or peril?
The edition also provides sector views from S&P Global Ratings analysts on oil and gas, autos, real estate, and media and telecoms.
Read the latest edition here
Moorgate compiles, edits and designs U.S Corporate Insights
As part of our work with the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council, Moorgate has been working with the Ghanaian High Commission in the UK. On March 18th the President of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama, visits Aberdeen to open the Scottish-Ghana Business Forum. There’s an obvious focus on oil and gas, so the event has been previewed in an OpEd by the High Commissioner Victor Emmanuel Smith in Scottish Energy News.
To read the full commentary article, please click here.