Posts Tagged ‘finance’

Costs bear down on venerable Shetland oil industry

The North Sea oil industry, particularly the Shetland region at its core, is showing the strain of low oil prices, raising questions about its viability.

The demise of the four-decade old UK industry has been predicted many times, with recent concerns centered on taxation and possible independence for Scotland.

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Mixed signals: Weighing the fate of US shale oil supply

Aside from a brief blip, oil prices have remained stubbornly below $50/b in recent weeks despite fresh concern over global demand and rising geopolitical tensions. On the supply side, the market’s gaze has gravitated to that most closely watched of oil market variables — the response of US shale output to weaker oil prices.

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Just a second … hold that trading timestamp, please

The world’s next ‘leap second’ event will occur on June 30, 2015 — and, for the first time ever, according to the Futures Industry Association (FIA), it will happen “during active trading hours in an environment where electronic and automated trading relies on sub-second precision for communication, execution, clearing, surveillance and audit trails.”

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Australian junior chases Rocky Mountain oil and natural gas high

A small Australian upstream company, with the appropriate name of American Patriot Oil and Gas, is hoping to achieve what several of its peers have been unable to do: turn a little into a lot in the US market.

American Patriot’s business model is simple, yet crucially different from that pursued by some other small Australian companies that have burned through their own capital trying to make a go of it in US conventional and unconventional oil and gas, according to the company’s CEO Alexis Clark.

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Steel inventory building not likely to take place before price increases take hold

Domestic flat-rolled steel momentum appears to be headed back up thanks to an increase Monday of $25/st by US Steel–effective immediately–but buyers are unlikely to rush out and load up before the increase really sinks into the market.

That’s because the Great Recession of 2009 forced service centers and banks alike to tighten their belts–and their credit–to mitigate risk in an increasingly volatile market.

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Building gas power plants: Investment or speculation?

Bankers’ memories are likely to be tested by the current power generation market.

While discussing the challenging outlook for financing new power plants during a recent conference in New York, Carl Williams, a principal at Riverstone Holdings, harkened back to 1998-2001 when a sudden surge in building new generation fired by natural gas resulted in the addition of 70 GW to the grid. But rather than scaling back, developers – and the bankers who funded them – continued the build-out, adding another 105 GW between 2001 and 2003, the equivalent of replacing the entire capacity of the PJM Interconnection, Williams noted.

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Renewables developers begin to look beyond tax credits

Some people would say that developers of renewable energy projects are optimists. A rosy outlook would certainly be helpful in an environment in which low natural gas prices are challenging the push toward the Holy Grail of renewable energy, reaching price parity with fossil fuel-fired generation.

That alone could be enough to dim the outlook of a US renewable energy developer, without the added concerns of a tighter banking climate brought about by more restrictive capital requirements and legislative gridlock over renewable incentives such as the production tax credit, which expires at the end of the year.

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Forget Solyndra: The bigger picture of Obama’s 1705 and 1603 programs is California’s RPS

The name Solyndra has a certain sizzle for those who happen to reside on one of the two ends of the political spectrum.

Very generally put, anti-renewable, right-leaning Republicans utter the name with a certain salaciousness as it connotes to them “crony capitalism.” 

Left-leaning Democrats often blanch at the utterance of the name, but insist Solyndra–and its loss of $530 million in tax payer loans–was the cost of the government stimulating renewables needed to fight climate change.

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Petrodollars: no shortage of private equity investing in oil and gas

The role of private equity financing upstream US oil and gas exploration has grown considerably in recent years, and it shows no signs of slowing. Starr Spencer discusses the trend in this week’s Oilgram News column, Petrodollars.

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Beal is back in the merchant power game

Full-page color ads ran in the Wall Street Journal almost every day last week touting Beal Bank’s prowess at “Financing Merchant Power.”


Actually the deals touted were by CSG Investments, a Dallas financial adviser to its affiliates, Beal Bank, of Texas, and Beal Bank USA, of Nevada. Not that CSG is more familiar to many in power sector financing than Beal Bank is. Historically the power sector has been dominated by big banks, big European banks with a global reach.

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