Tuesday, May 26, 2020

“Now What?” – A Conversation on Energy & COVID-19

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When we started our Grow with the Flow series of live web events to help connect everyone in this everchanging COVID-19 world, we asked attendees what they wanted to hear about. The most common answer: Markets/Business Impact.

This in mind, we reached out to Wood Mackenzie and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher to see if any of their industry specialists could spare time to speak with Pink Petro and a few hundred of our “friends.” Dr. Valentina Kretzschmar, Vice President, Corporate Research at Wood Mackenzie, and Anna Howell, Partner- Co-Chair Oil & Gas Group at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, stepped forward.

…And so did you. In all, we had more than 350 people register for the event with representation from 15 countries. We also had representation from more than 180 companies, including all our corporate members, but a big hats off goes to Chevron, Shell, Baker Hughes, Enbridge, Equinor, Weatherford, and of course, Wood Mackenzie and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP. Had this been an in-person conference, each of your companies could have individually filled a table (or several, in some cases).

We are planning more sessions, so keep an eye on our calendar for updates. In the meantime, here are a couple of highlights from the event, the full “Now What?” session on video, and resources.

Dr. Kretzschmar notes that companies will need to cut spending by 41% in 2020 if oil falls to $35 per barrel and many are already cutting back. Over the past couple weeks around 50 companies have slashed their budgets by around $21 billion, yet this only amounts to around 28%. With more companies changing course in the past day or so, the amount is closer to $30 billion.

Howell explains that many companies are taking proactive measures, such as:

  • Talking to their lenders
  • Modeling the scenarios
  • Working out their liquidity issues
  • Looking at their covenants
  • Trying to renegotiate their debt
  • Trying to bring in new lenders in order to avoid insolvencies and bankruptcies

However, the issues being faced today are amplified compared to those from the last oil crash, simply because financing was tight before this crash and the additional COVID-19 challenges. This in mind, it’s essential for energy companies to take a proactive approach and start looking into solutions now. Many are doing so, but she laments there will inevitably be some bankruptcies and insolvencies throughout the industry in addition to restructuring that’s already happening.

Watch the Full Web Event | Download Slides

Jen Simpson
Jen Simpson is an award-winning writer and psychology major with entrepreneurship studies through Harvard Online. Over the past decade, she’s covered law, real estate, finance, marketing, human resources, and career-related content. She enjoys cultivating enthusiasm for careers in energy for Pink Petro and exploring topics related to HR—especially diversity and inclusion. When she’s not writing, the self-proclaimed information junkie pursues learning and cultural events as well as virtually any activity that helps her escape the sweltering Arizona sun. She’s a fan of the Oxford comma.

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