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Shell, BP to reveal Q4 income surges, analyst says

Written by Mark Lammey – 19/01/2017 7:22 am

Oil majors Shell and BP are expected to reveal large increases in fourth quarter earnings next month, an analyst said yesterday.

Biraj Borkhataria of RBC Capital Markets estimated BP would record a net income of $1billion in Q4, up from $200million the previous year.

Mr Borkhataria said the firm’s production would edge up during the quarter due to lower seasonal turnaround and maintenance activities, though downstream margins will be under pressure.

He predicts outgoings related to the 2010 Macondo disaster will come to $1.5billion for the three months.

Shell’s net income will go up 78% year-on-year to $2.8billion for the last three months of 2016.

Mr Borkhataria said Shell will have cashed $2.7billion from asset sales in Canada, the Gulf of Mexico, Malaysia and Japan in Q4.

The company is in the midst of a $30billion divestment programme which is slated to run through 2018.

Commenting on the global oil and gas industry in general, the coming months should highlight continued cost and capex deflation, Mr Borkhataria said.

He expects capex for majors to total $123billion in 2017, 8% lower than in 2016 and 50% down on 2013, when spending peaked.

RBC also thinks investors could switch their focus to growth, against the backdrop of the oil price recovery, which could have implications for the mergers and acquisitions market.

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