(RTTNews) – bp plc (BP.L, BP_UN.TO, BP) announced Monday that production has begun from its Block 61 Phase 2 Ghazeer gas field in Oman, 33 months after the development was approved.

Ghazeer was initially expected to come into production in 2021. The first phase of development of Block 61 – Khazzan – was brought online in September 2017.

Total production capacity from Block 61, comprising both Khazzan and Ghazeer, is expected to rise to 1.5 billion cubic feet of gas a day and more than 65,000 barrels a day of associated condensate. With an estimated 10.5 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas resources, the block has the capacity to deliver approximately 35% of Oman’s total gas demand.

Mohammed Al Rumhy, Minister of Energy & Minerals of the Sultanate of Oman, stated that the gas from Ghazeer will contribute towards Oman’s 2040 vision in terms of providing additional energy to local industries as well as diversifying the economy.

Bernard Looney, bp chief executive, said, “This project has been delivered with capital discipline four months early, wells are being drilled in record times and, importantly, safety performance has been excellent. It exemplifies what a strong and resilient hydrocarbons business looks like – a core part of our strategy.”

The company noted that as this important first gas milestone is achieved, Omanisation in bp Oman reached over 80%.

Omani-registered companies were also used for over 85% of all project spend.

In London, bp shares are trading at 218.35 pence, down 1.69 percent.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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By Ron Bousso

LONDON, Oct 12 (Reuters)BP BP.L started production at Oman’s giant Ghazeer natural gas field in Oman which is set to underpin the company’s oil and gas output for years even as it shifts to renewables.

The London-based company said in a statement that Ghazeer, the second phase of development of Block 61, started four months ahead of schedule and below its planned budget.

BP is in the midst of the largest overhaul in its history after CEO Bernard Looney set out a path to rapidly shift BP to renewable power and reduce its oil and gas production by 1 million barrels per day by 2030.

But oil and gas is set to help pay for the shift in the coming decade.

“It is absolutely central for BP because it generates the funding allowing us to invest in new businesses and transform the company,” Gordon Birrell, BP head of oil and gas operations, told Reuters.

BP, which wants to sell $25 billion of assets by 2025, is in talks to sell down its stake in Oman, industry sources have told Reuters.

The first phase, Khazzan, was brought online in September 2017. Total production capacity from the block is expected to reach 1.5 billion cubic feet of gas a day and more than 65,000 barrels a day of associated condensate.

BP holds 60% of the Block 61 project, Oman’s national oil and gas company 30% and Malaysia’s Petronas PETRA.UL another 10%.

(Reporting by Ron Bousso, editing by Louise Heavens)

(([email protected]; +44 (0) 2075422161; Reuters Messaging: [email protected]))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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EARNINGS OUTLOOK



a group of people on a sidewalk: Earnings season is expected to show the ‘haves’ versus the ‘have-nots’ created by the pandemic


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Earnings season is expected to show the ‘haves’ versus the ‘have-nots’ created by the pandemic

The U.S. third-quarter corporate earnings reporting season will kick off next week and the numbers will reflect a second quarter dominated by the coronavirus pandemic that has created an uneven playing field in which some companies thrive, while others shrink and fade.

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While stock indexes have set records and big technology and online retailers have outperformed, many other industries and individual companies are grappling with deteriorating sales and earnings as economic growth has slumped across the globe.

“A lot of company risk is not being captured by equity indices,” said James Gellert, chief executive of Rapid Ratings, a data and analytics company that assesses the financial health of private and public companies. “The equity market is showing a lot of optimism, but below the surface, there’s an ocean of companies that are dealing with a crisis.”

Companies doing business with bigger enterprises in hard-hit sectors that sell to or buy from them are aware of the financial health of those customers or vendors, he said. The market may suggest a company is doing well, but the difference between financial health and market health “can be very different.”

Sebastian Leburn, senior portfolio manager at Boston Private, agreed. “You’ve got the economy and the stock market, and you’ve got the S&P 500,” Leburn said.



chart, waterfall chart: A chart provided by Lindsey Bell, chief investment strategist at Ally Invest, depicts the differences between the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ of the recovery off the post-pandemic lows. Mainly, the rich are getting richer as the smaller companies suffer.


A chart provided by Lindsey Bell, chief investment strategist at Ally Invest, depicts the differences between the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ of the recovery off the post-pandemic lows. Mainly, the rich are getting richer as the smaller companies suffer.

Leburn noted that the S&P 500 index (SPX) is market-capitalization weighted, so its performance is skewed by just a handful of mega-cap tech stocks. Those companies, led by

BHP Group BHP recently announced the signing of an agreement with Hess Corporation to acquire the latter’s 28% interest in Shenzi oil and gas field located in the Gulf of Mexico for $505 million. This move is in sync with the company’s plans to augment its petroleum portfolio through targeted acquisitions in high-quality deepwater assets and the continued de-risking of growth options.

Currently, Shenzi is structured as a joint ownership with BHP being the operator with a 44% interest, Hess holding 28% and Spain’s Repsol S.A. the remaining 28%. Following the completion of the deal, expected by the end of December, BHP Group’s stake will go up to 72% and add approximately 11,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day to production (90% oil).

The Shenzi facility is located approximately 120 miles (195 kilometres) off the Louisiana coastline and is installed in approximately 4,300 feet (1,300 metres) of water on Green Canyon Block 653, making it the second deepest tension leg platform (TLP) in the world. The overall field comprises four blocks: Green Canyon 609, 610, 653 and 654.

Notably, the Shenzi project accounted for 7% of the Petroleum Group’s revenues in fiscal 2020. With the completion of the current deal, this proportion will go up in the future. For fiscal 2020, BHP Group’s underlying attributable profit from continuing operations was $9.06 billion in fiscal 2020, down 4% from $9.47 billion in fiscal 2019 as gains from favorable exchange rate movements, improved productivity and lower unit costs were offset by reduced commodity prices and volumes.

Despite the volatility in oil prices this year, the company believes that the fundamentals of oil and advantaged gas will remain strong over the next decade and beyond. While demand will continue to rise, the industry is subject to a decline rates of at least 3%



a sign on the side of the water: Climate activists protesting against new gas projects in Sydney last week


© Reuters
Climate activists protesting against new gas projects in Sydney last week

Australian state authorities have approved the development of a major coal seam gas field in a controversial environmental decision.

The Narrabri gas project from energy firm Santos could be one of the biggest in New South Wales (NSW), and provide up to 50% of the state’s gas demand.

But critics say drilling wells threatens wildlife and water supplies, and increases greenhouse gas emissions.

Australia re-committed to a contentious “gas-led” future last week.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the nation needed more gas supplies as a “transition” source between coal and renewable energy sources.

However scientists criticised the focus, saying investment in a fossil fuel hinders Australia’s climate change and emissions reductions progress.

The Narrabri gas project had already been earmarked by Canberra this year as a key infrastructure project before its official approval by state planners.

On Wednesday, the NSW independent planning commission granted “phased approval” to the A$3.6bn (£2bn; $2.5bn) project, which would be located on farm and woodlands in rural northern New South Wales.

More than 95% of the 23,000 public submissions to the commission had opposed the development, which is to run for 25 years.

However, the commission found the project was “in the public interest” and “any negative impacts can be effectively mitigated with strict conditions”.

If fully realised, the project will see the drilling of up to 850 coal seam gas wells on a 95,000 hectare site covering farming land and a known forest habitat for koalas.

Scientists estimate the project would release about five million tonnes of greenhouse gases each year.

The decision has drawn anger and outcry from many sections of the community.

Along with environmentalists and traditional Aboriginal owners, drought-affected farmers in the region had opposed the gas field