Correspondent, Energy and Infrastructure
Braden's Feed
Dec 23, 2013

California takes aim at ‘ducks’ to smooth move to green power

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec 23 (Reuters) – From Daffy to Donald, the
animation studios of Southern California have long portrayed
ducks as just for laughs, but a graphical incarnation of the
bird making the rounds in the state’s power sector is being
taken very seriously indeed.

California plans to generate a third of its energy from
renewable sources by 2020, and regulators use what has become
known as a “duck chart” to demonstrate the challenge presented
by saddling their grid with increasing amounts of constantly
fluctuating solar power.

Dec 13, 2013

Fluor’s NuScale lands U.S. govt funding for new small reactors

Dec 12 (Reuters) – NuScale Power LLC, a nuclear technology
firm majority-owned by Fluor Corp, said on Thursday it
had secured U.S. Department of Energy funding to develop small
nuclear reactors just over a year after missing out in a
previous award round.

The DoE’s cost-sharing program will provide an amount of
money that is still to be negotiated out of a $452 million fund
aimed at developing small modular reactor (SMR) technology,
Fluor said.

Nov 21, 2013

Transocean has a third of deepwater rigs seeking 2014 work

Nov 21 (Reuters) – Transocean Ltd attached some hard
numbers to industry concerns about near-term slack in the demand
for deepwater oil and gas drilling, saying its rigs would
represent more than a third of those seeking work in 2014.

Shares of Transocean, owner of the world’s largest offshore
drilling fleet, fell 3 percent in morning trading on Thursday.

Nov 15, 2013

California fracking law offers groundwater protection-regulator

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov 15 (Reuters) – California regulators said
on Friday an enhanced monitoring regime for oil and gas
production that is part of the state’s new fracking regulations
would shore up groundwater protection, a top concern in the
growing state.

The law, signed by Governor Jerry Brown in September,
introduces stringent regulations of hydraulic fracturing as well
as of acid injection in anticipation of greater industry efforts
to develop the state’s vast Monterey shale.

Nov 7, 2013

Transocean says onshore cuts to yield lower 2014 costs

Nov 7 (Reuters) – Transocean Ltd, the world’s
largest offshore drilling contractor, is going through a
“painful” process to reduce onshore expenses and expects to see
a drop in costs next year as a result, executives said.

Chief Financial Officer Esa Ikaheimonen also hinted on
Thursday that a change to the capital structure could be in the
works through the introduction of a partnership for certain
assets, with more details to come later this month.

Nov 6, 2013

Transocean posts surprise profit rise

By Braden Reddall

(Reuters) – Transocean Ltd (RIG.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), owner of the world’s largest offshore drilling fleet, reported on Wednesday a larger-than-expected third-quarter profit due to increased demand for its rigs and higher rates, sending its shares up 2 percent.

Net income for the quarter was $546 million, or $1.50 per share, compared with a loss of $381 million, or $1.06 per share, a year ago, when it took an $878 million charge for its exit from the lower end of the shallow-water jackup rig market.

Nov 6, 2013

Halliburton raises dividend as it trims oilfield costs

By Braden Reddall

(Reuters) – Halliburton Co (HAL.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Wednesday increased its dividend by 20 percent as the oilfield services company laid out plans to boost North American profit margins by 2 percentage points next year through cost reductions alone.

Halliburton shares jumped 2 percent after the dividend announcement at a meeting between company executives and analysts. Pricing in the North American oilfield market remains competitive due to spare service capacity, as a natural gas production glut forced operators to scale back plans, the executives said.

Nov 5, 2013

Frost fund manager sees 2014 North America energy capex up 10 percent

HOUSTON (Reuters) – North American energy companies are expected to spend 10 percent more next year as they drill shale wells requiring bigger hydraulic fracturing jobs in order to maximize recovery of oil and gas, a U.S.-based portfolio manager said on Tuesday.

Many energy companies are in the process of finalizing 2014 capital expenditure budgets and most investors and analysts expect budgets to grow, even if there is some debate about just how big the increases will be.

Nov 5, 2013

Weatherford to cut debt by up to $5 billion in two years

Nov 5 (Reuters) – Weatherford International will cut
its debt by up to $5 billion in the next two years as it boosts
cash flow and divests assets, the oilfield services company’s
CEO said on Tuesday.

Buoyed by higher-than-expected quarterly earnings on Monday
and the announcement that day of a settlement of U.S.
investigations that go back six years, shares of Weatherford hit
their highest since March 2012.

Nov 4, 2013

Investors reward ‘pure play’ shale firms: BMO’s US energy head

By Braden Reddall and Michael Erman

(Reuters) – Private oil companies, unable to get others to fork out enough money to buy them, are increasingly going to public markets to tap investors who are eager to get a piece of the U.S. onshore boom – especially if the firms target just one shale basin.

Tod Benton, the head of U.S. energy banking at Canada’s BMO Capital Markets, said initial public offerings are giving companies higher valuations at a time when buyers and sellers of oil and gas properties are having a tough time reaching agreements on price.

    • About Braden

      "Spent early career in London covering technology, media and telecoms over five years, after an initial stint in Dublin. Worked as India's chief financial copy editor and deputy bureau chief in Mumbai for 2-1/2 years before moving to San Francisco in 2006, first to edit West Coast stories and then to cover the energy business. A native Californian, Braden received his BA in Economics from the University of Chicago in 1996."
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