Breakingviews

Indian tycoon’s sweetened Cairn bid is still sour

July 25, 2016

Anil Agarwal's mining group Vedanta has upped its offer to buy out the minorities of its cash-rich Indian subsidiary. The 9 percent premium looks far from compelling. The fate of the $2.4 bln bid rests with Cairn India's two largest outside investors.

It’s not how much oil, but how much influence

July 5, 2016

The U.S. has more oil than Saudi Arabia, according to Rystad Energy. But oil reserves are only worth counting if there’s a chance they can be produced economically over time. Size is much less important than an ability to guide the price - and there, Saudi still rules.

“Frack Master” suit is a sign of bezzle shrinkage

June 27, 2016

The U.S. SEC says Chris Faulkner inflated his shale-oil company’s prospects, then blew $80 mln of investors’ money on dodgy expenses. Hard times tend to reveal bad boom-era behavior. The oil patch’s lax governance makes it an obvious place for regulators to hunt for culprits.

Farcical oil deal prompts George Costanza defense

May 6, 2016

Like the character in sitcom “Seinfeld,” Energy Transfer hopes to shake up a sour relationship: the $21 bln takeover of pipeline rival Williams. ETE aims to pay less cash, seeming to force the issue by making itself as unattractive as possible. The stakes are no laughing matter.

OPEC freeze failure could hasten oil’s recovery

April 18, 2016

Producers failed to agree a deal to freeze supply at a meeting in Doha. The failure was largely due to Saudi Arabia’s refusal to allow Iran to be exempted from an agreement. Prices will drop initially, but if OPEC disintegrates the stalemate could hasten crude’s recovery.

Iran more red herring than black swan for oil

March 29, 2016

Despite lifted sanctions and a more moderate government, Tehran lacks the investment to deliver a boost to supply. Next month’s unofficial OPEC meeting may produce an output freeze. With Russia also less liable to increase its flows, pressure on prices looks more up than down.

The Exchange podcast: Lord Browne of L1 Energy

By Rob Cox
March 24, 2016

The former BP chief swings by Times Square to discuss his new book on how companies can radically engage with the wider world and become more inclusive to the benefit of owners. He also talks about the potential for M&A in the energy business, the oil market and Brexit.

Iran election is key driver of oil price recovery

February 25, 2016

Iranians will on Feb. 26 vote in the first election held since a deal with the U.S. to lift sanctions. Elect moderates and Iran could increase output, keeping global oil prices low. Go for hardliners, and the gush could be a trickle – and help OPEC reverse the slump.

Saudi-Russia oil deal is full of holes

February 16, 2016

The crude producers have agreed to freeze production at January levels. But both Russia and the OPEC kingpin are already pumping nearly flat out. And Iran, which wants to raise output after years of sanctions, may not agree. At best, it may lead to a more ambitious deal later.

Cox: Argentina, Aramco are deals for tricky times

By Rob Cox
January 26, 2016

Two big transactions dominated Davos. One would open up a democracy to capital markets after years of feckless governance and isolation. The other is designed to help a repressive regime retain power. In the world’s current parlous state, it’s to be hoped that both get done.