Kevin's Feed
May 4, 2012

Repsol still not a tempting takeover target

(The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions
expressed are their own)

By Kevin Allison and Fiona Maharg Bravo

LONDON/MADRID, May 4 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Investors
shouldn’t take bid speculation around Repsol (REP.MC: Quote, Profile, Research) too
seriously. The YPF (YPFD.BA: Quote, Profile, Research) fiasco in Argentina may have wiped
out a third of the Spanish oil major’s market capitalisation.
But a bid for the 17 billion euro ($22 billion) company still
looks unlikely.

Apr 24, 2012
via Breakingviews

Space mining plan more than just sci-fi fantasy

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By Kevin Allison

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Shady corporation sends robot army into space to mine precious metals from asteroids. That’s the basic setup of Blade Runner, the sci-fi epic that hit cinemas 30 years ago this June. It’s also the business plan for Planetary Resources, a U.S. startup that has outlined its strategy to take the mining industry into near-Earth orbit. The economics look challenging, to say the least. But the idea is not completely bonkers.

Apr 20, 2012
via Breakingviews

UK gas bounty will be tricky to exploit

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By Kevin Allison

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

The British government may have warmed to fracking. But while shale-gas extraction has put America on the road to energy self-sufficiency, it may be premature to bank on a similar boom in the UK. The country’s shale formations could be enough to meet decades of demand if bullish interpretations of geological data are right. But economics may keep much of the shale bounty under ground.

Apr 11, 2012
via Breakingviews

Euro zone powerless to avoid big oil divide

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By Kevin Allison and Christopher Swann

The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.

Higher oil prices are yet another force pushing the euro area’s economies apart. They hit gross domestic product three times harder in Greece than in Germany, according to data from Moody’s Analytics. Ireland and Italy are big losers, too. With Iran worries driving prices higher and sovereign debt fears flaring up again, governments may be even more tempted to tap strategic petroleum reserves. But that won’t guarantee lower prices.

Apr 5, 2012
via Breakingviews

Nigerian billionaire’s LSE-quote plan is watershed

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By Kevin Allison

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote is seeking a London listing for his $11 billion cement company. It is a watershed moment for Nigeria, and for Africa. There are significant governance hurdles, and Dangote’s plan to build a pan-African aggregates champion isn’t without risks. But the prospect of a FTSE 100-sized Nigerian company is worth celebrating.

Apr 2, 2012
via Breakingviews

BP has yet to deliver its positive Macondo legacy

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By Kevin Allison

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Two years after BP’s disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, the UK oil major has yet to convince investors it is undergoing the radical corporate change it promised to achieve. There is no sugar-coating the financial, human and environmental toll of Macondo. But the catastrophe prompted a needed bout of soul-searching and some long-overdue restructuring at the company. A new strategy emerged – to shed stodgy, mature assets and create a smaller, higher-returning company focused on its core competence in exploration. That was the right response. Still, BP’s road to renewal is proving a long one.

Mar 29, 2012
via Breakingviews

North Sea blowout hardly justifies Total meltdown

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By Kevin Allison

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Two years after BP’s deep sea Gulf of Mexico disaster, Total is facing an underwater emergency of its own. The French oil major said on March 27 that it could take up to six months to stem the flow of gas from a leaking well off the Scottish coast. That sent shivers down the spines of investors who watched BP lose about half its market value as the Deepwater Horizon disaster turned from bad, to worse, to catastrophic.

Mar 14, 2012
via Breakingviews

China has much to gain from rare earths fight

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By Kevin Allison

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

A challenge before the World Trade Organization may put China on the defensive over rare earth minerals, used to make essential components in everything from iPads to military gyroscopes. But the case could drag on for years, and Beijing’s policy should play well at home in the meantime.

Mar 13, 2012
via Breakingviews

Glencore faces fight to land $5.5 bln Viterra deal

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By Kevin Allison

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Ivan Glasenberg seems to like difficult deals. The chief executive of commodity trader Glencore is still trying to win over shareholders in Xstrata to a proposed $90 billion merger with the miner. But he is potentially also in the market for a smaller but no less challenging acquisition, of Canadian grain handler Viterra.

Feb 29, 2012

Shell can afford to let Cove Energy go

By Kevin Allison

LONDON, Feb 29 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Gas-hungry Asian
rivals are complicating the oil major’s attempt to buy 8.5
percent of a giant African gas field. Shell can probably justify
paying more, but has no need to get into a bidding war. Even if
Cove gets away, there should be other opportunities to
participate in the field.

Full view will be published shortly.

CONTEXT NEWS

– India’s ONGC and GAIL this week became the latest energy
groups to say they are considering an offer for Cove Energy, an
Africa-focused oil and gas explorer. The state-owned gas
companies have yet to decide whether they will make an offer,
according to a regulatory filing published on Feb. 28.