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(Energy Analytics Institute, 29.Feb.2024) — Energy briefs as well as others related to finance and projects during Feb. 2024 including Exxon Mobil and CNOOC considering their pre-emption rights to Hess Corp.’s stake in the offshore Stabroek Block; increases in electricity for the majority of the Edenor and Edesur users are much higher than what was reported by the Argentine gov’t of new president Javier Milei; bp acquiring 50.03% interest it does not already own in Lightsource bp; Orex Minerals Inc. inking an option agreement with Exploraciones El Cairo S.R.L. de C.V. to acquire 100% of the Valenciana Gold-Silver Project in Zacatecas State, Mexico; SSR Mining Inc. on incident at the Çöpler mine in Türkiye; Alberta investing $18mn to help communities hire staff, replace windows, and upgrade lights; APA Corp. saying it isn’t planning an drilling activities offshore Uruguay in 2024; Bristow Ireland Ltd being granted an air operators certificate; and more.

LATIN AMERICA AND CARIBBEAN

Argentina

— Increases in electricity for the majority of the Edenor and Edesur users are much higher than what was reported by the Argentine gov’t of new president Javier Milei, EconoJournal reported 19 Feb. 2024. This based on details revealed 15 Feb. in a stmt. from Argentina’s Energy Secretariat which revealed that electricity rates in the Metropolitan Area of Buenos Aires (AMBA) rose 150% for users w/o subsidies, 65% for the middle sectors and 70% for the low sectors.

Brazil

— Brazil’s state-owned Petrobras inked a MOU w/ Arcelor Mittal Brasil to study potential mutually beneficial business models in the low carbon economy, Petrobras announced 26 Feb. 2024 in an official stmt.

Petrobras, following up on the release disclosed on 15 Dec. 2023, decided to exercise the tag-along right (joint sale) for the sale of its 18.8% stake in the share capital of UEG Araucária S.A. (UEGA), Petrobras said 23 Feb. 2024 in an official stmt.

Heard on the Street: Petrobras has initiated the Anhanguá prospect drilling in Brazil’s Potiguar Basin, according to details revealed by Esgian in mid-Feb. 2024.

Petrobras will release its 4Q:23 Production and Sales Report on 8 Feb. 2024, and its 4Q:23 Financial Performance Report on 7 Mar. 2024, both after the mkts close. On 8 Mar. a webcast will be held to present the co.’s results for the 4Q:23. The event will be presented in Portuguese and will have simultaneous translation into English.

8 Mar. 2023 (Friday)
Webcast – Portuguese and English
10:30 a.m (Brasília)
8:30 a.m (New York)
13:30 p.m (London) Click here for the access link – Portuguese Click here for the access link – English

Colombia

Frontera Energy Corp. plans to invest $35mn-$45mn to drill three exploration wells including the high-impact Hydra-1 well in the VIM-1 block in Colombia and two wells in the Espejo Block in Ecuador and additional seismic and pre-drilling activities in Colombia, the co. announced 15 Feb. 2024 in an official stmt.

Ecopetrol S.A. (BVC: ECOPETROL; NYSE: EC) will release its financial and operating results for the 4Q and full year 2023 after mkt close on 29 Feb. 29, 2024, the co. 15 Feb. said in an official stmt. On 1 Mar. 2024, Ecopetrol’s senior mgmt will host a single virtual conf. call to review the results, w/ transmission in Spanish and English: 9am Colombia time (9am New York time) via the following link.

Guyana

Chevron warned investors that Exxon Mobil and China’s Cnooc are asserting they have a right to pre-empt the co.’s bid for a stake in a prolific oil project off Guyana, an emerging dispute that could derail Chevron’s $53bn megadeal for Hess, The Wall Street Journal reported 26 Feb. 2024. Chevron said in a regulatory filing that Exxon and Cnooc say they have the right to counter Chevron’s offer for Hess’s stake in the Guyana project, which Exxon operates and is one of the largest oil finds in years. Chevron warned investors it may not complete its purchase of Hess “within the time frame the company anticipates or at all.”

Exxon Mobil Corp. and CNOOC are reportedly considering exercising rights to buy Hess Corp.’s stake in the Stabroek offshore oil development, a move that could break up Chevron Corp.’s $53bn deal to buy into the field, Bloomberg reported 26 Feb. 2024. Per the US news agency, California-based Chevron is adamant there’s “no possible scenario” in which Exxon or CNOOC could buy the stake, and in a stmt said it remains fully committed to the Hess deal. For its part, Texas-based Exxon said it has a duty to its shareholders to explore the right of first refusal over the change of ownership of the Hess stake. 

— Trinidad and Tobago energy minister Stuart Young, in Guyana attending the Guyana Energy Conference and Supply Chain Expo 2024, announced 20 Feb. 2024 over Instagram that the gov’t of the twin-island nation was there to promote regional collaboration, energy security and investments in Trinidad’s energy sector. Trinidad’s Prime Minister Keith Rowley also attended the event.

Source: PIH

Power International Holding (PIH), a Qatari based global investment conglomerate held the groundbreaking ceremony of Georgetown Seafront Resort and Convention center a premium development by its subsidiary Assets Group. The 76,000 sq meter property is a $300mn development is set to feature 260 luxurious rooms and suites and 150 serviced apartments part of which are branded residences and premium villas, along w/ an exclusive Members’ Club, PIH announced 20 Feb. 2024 in an official stmt.

Frontera Energy Corp.‘s strategic review process for its exciting Guyana exploration business is advancing, where a data room has been opened and management presentations are underway, the co. announced 15 Feb. 2024 in an official stmt.

DeepOcean was awarded a contract by ExxonMobil Guyana for the provision of subsea construction and IMR (inspection, maintenance, and repair) services offshore Guyana, South America, DeepOcean announced 14 Feb. 2024 in an official stmt.

Exxon Mobil Corp.’s exploratory drilling off the coast of Guyana will be “well south” of the disputed territory that Venezuela claims as its own, Bloomberg reported 7 Feb. 2024, citing a senior co. executive. Venezuela’s maritime claim rests along a “projected” 70-degree line out to sea from Punta Playa on the border w/ Guyana, Alistair Routledge, president of Exxon operations in the country, said during an interview.

Nuclear Fuels Inc. (CSE: NF) (OTCQX: NFUNF) appointed Rich Munson to the BODs, the co. announced 6 Feb. 2024 in an official stmt.

Mexico

Orex Minerals Inc. (TSXV: REX) (OTCQB: ORMNF) inked an option agreement w/ Exploraciones El Cairo S.R.L. de C.V. (EEC), a Mexican registered private co., to acquire 100% of the Valenciana Gold-Silver Project in Zacatecas State, Mexico. The property hosts high-grade epithermal gold and silver veins, w/ base metals of lead and zinc, in Cretaceous sedimentary units and Tertiary rhyolitic and monzonitic intrusive rocks. It is located on the Mesa Central within the prolific “Silver Trend” of Mexico, Orex said 13 Feb. 2024 in an official stmt.

Vizsla Silver Corp. (TSXV: VZLA) (NYSE: VZLA) (Frankfurt: 0G3) intends to enter into an arrangement agreement with its wholly-owned subsidiary Vizsla Royalties Corp. (Spinco) within 45 days w/ respect of the spinout of the shares of Spinco to the co.’s shareholders (the “Spinout”). Spinco currently holds, indirectly, a net smelter royalty on any future mineral production at Vizsla Silver’s flagship, 100% owned Panuco silver-gold project located in Mexico, Vizsla announced 12 Feb. 2024 in an official stmt. The co. further announces that holders of its common shrs will be entitled to 1/3 of a common shr of Spinco and 1/3 of a common shr purchase warrant of Spinco for each Vizsla Silver shr held on the share distribution record date.

Suriname

APA Corp. is targeting an FID by YE:24 offshore Suriname in Blk 58 and no further drilling is planned, the co. announced 21 Feb. 2024 in an official stmt. The FID is underpinned by an estimated 700 MMbbls of recoverable oil resource at Sapakara and Krabdagu alone. France’s TotalEnergies SE is APA’s partner in the blk.

Source: TotalEnergies SE

TotalEneriges SE eyes an FID related to its Sapakara South + Krabdagu prospects in late 2024, co. officials reiterated 7 Feb. 2024 during the French co.’s quarterly webcast. TotalEnergies and US partner APA Corp. are studying a 200,000 b/d development under study, a FEED is in progress and a competitive call for tenders started in 4Q:23. First oil from Suriname is still expected in 2028, according to TotalEnergies.

Uruguay

APA Corp. said it isn’t planning an drilling activities offshore Uruguay in 2024 related to offshore blk OFF-6 and OFF-4, both awarded in 2023, the U.S.-based co. announced 21 Feb. 2024 in an official stmt.

Venezuela

— Venezuela plans to install an insulin factory with Russian technology, Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Yván Gil said 20 Feb. 2024 after a meeting w/ his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, who is visiting Caracas, El Carabobeño reported

— Venezuela’s Attorney General Tarek William Saab said 20 Feb. 2024 during a broadcast on national television that Rocío San Miguel, recently detained in Venezuela for allegedly plotting to kill president Nicolás Maduro, was receiving pmts from a transnational oil co., w/o naming which one.

Heard on the Street: Venezuela is said to be exploring its options related to floating LNG, sources tell Energy Analytics Institute.

— A supertanker carrying Russia’s flagship Urals crude has arrived off the coast of Venezuela as Moscow looks for new buyers amid tightening sanctions and disruptions in the Red Sea, Bloomberg reported 20 Feb. 2024. The Ligera is now near Amuay Bay, which is linked to a refinery run by state-owned co. PDVSA, vessel-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg show. It collected at least 1.7 MMbbls of Urals via ship-to-ship transfers off southern Greece last mth before sailing to Venezuela.

Heard on the Street: The US gov’t continues to ponder the non-renewal of GL 44 when it expires in Apr. 2024 in the aftermath of the detention of Rocio San Miguel, sources tell Energy Analytics Institute.

EUROPE

France

— The BODs of TotalEnergies SE met on 6 Feb. 2024, and decided to propose at the shareholders’ meeting on 24 May 2024, the distribution of a dividend for fiscal year 2023 of 3.01 €/shr, a 7.1% increase compared to the ordinary dividend for fiscal year 2022 of 2.81 €/shr, the French energy giant said 7 Feb. in an official stmt. Consequently, taking into account the three interim dividends of 0.74 €/shr previously decided by the BODs, the final dividend for fiscal year 2023 will be 0.79 €/shr.

TotalEnergies SE is celebrating its 100th birthday in 2024. The French co. was founded 100 yrs ago in Iraq, at that time the name was Compagnie Française des Pétroles, co. officials said 6 Feb. 2024 during a quarterly webcast w/ analysts.

Germany

— The AquaDuctus hydrogen pipeline planned by GASCADE Gastransport GmbH in the North Sea rec’d state aid approval from the European Commission under the IPCEI hydrogen framework. “AquaDuctus will receive the green hydrogen produced in the North Sea and transport it to the German mainland. The offshore pipeline will also act as a hub for neighboring hydrogen infrastructures and create a link between European production and demand centers,” GASCADE Managing Director Christoph von dem Bussche, said 15 Feb. 2024 in an co. stmt, outlining the project approach.

Italy

Eni announced its financial support to the Global Flaring and Methane Reduction trust fund (GFMR), a program sponsored by the World Bank to help gov’ts and operators in developing countries eliminate routine flaring and reduce methane emissions from the O&G sector to near zero by 2030, the Italian energy giant announced 16 Feb. 2024 in an official stmt.

Eni will release its financial and operating targets for 2024 and its strategic plans at a Capital Markets Day scheduled on 24 Mar. 2024, the co. said 16 Feb. 2024 in an official stmt.

— Italy is positioning itself to become a gateway between Europe and Africa through investments into its own natural gas and LNG infrastructure as well as into development of gas resources in Africa to the tune of billions of dollars, RBAC, Inc. said 16 Feb. 2024 in a post on social media.

UK

England

— Global demand for LNG is estimated to rise by over 50% by 2040, as industrial coal-to-gas switching gathers pace in China and South Asian and South-east Asian countries use more LNG to support their economic growth, Shell plc announced in its ‘Shell LNG Outlook 2024’ rpt.

— In low carbon energy, bp agreed to acquire the 50.03% interest it does not already own in Lightsource bp, one of the world’s leading developers and operator of utility-scale solar and battery storage assets. This transaction is expected to complete in the 2H:24, subject to regulatory approvals, bp said 6 Feb. 2024 in an official stmt.

Ireland

Bristow Ireland Ltd was granted an air operators certificate following detailed assessment by Irish Aviation Authority. The certificate award is the next step towards seamless transition to a new, innovative Coast Guard search and rescue aviation service for Ireland, Bristow said 7 Feb. 2024 in an official stmt.

AFRICA

Egypt

— “With exploration success, natural gas can provide an attractive lower emissions alternative to the fuel oil and unabated coal currently being used for power generation, and the option to develop a hydrogen market to further reduce emissions,” ExxonMobil’s John Ardill said during day 2 of EGYPES 2024 in Cairo in mid-Feb. 2024. 

Equatorial Guinea

Exxon Mobil Corp. plans to exit Equatorial Guinea within mths, bringing to close almost 30yrs of oil drilling that transformed the small West African nation into an OPEC member, Bloomberg reported 8 Feb. 2024. The Texas-based energy giant will transfer investments in the African country to the govt during the 2Q:24, the co. said in an email to Bloomberg. “Our focus now is on a safe handover of operations and caring for all impacted by this change.”

Nigeria

TotalEnergies SE completed stopped flaring gas in Nigeria at the end of 2023, the co.’s CFO Jean-Pierre Sbraire said 7 Feb. 2024 during the co.’s quarterly webcast.

NORTH AMERICA

Canada

— Using Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) program funding, Alberta is investing $18mn to help communities hire staff, replace windows, upgrade lights and make practical improvements to arenas, community centres and other buildings, Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) announced 15 Feb. 2024 in an official stmt. This funding will allow the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre (MCCAC) to build on its suite of programs, helping Alberta municipalities save energy, lower costs and reduce emissions.

Aris Mining Corp. (TSX: ARIS) (NYSE-A: ARMN) appointed Gonzalo Hernández Jiménez and Germán Arce Zapata as independent directors effective 14 Feb. 2024. Hernández has been appointed to the Audit Committee and Sustainability Committee, and Arce has been appointed to the Compensation Committee. The two appointments follow the unexpected passing of Hernan Martinez in late 2023, a Director of the co. and its predecessors since 2011, the co. revealed in an official stmt. 

— “Looking beyond our three-year guidance, New Gold Inc. has a strategic objective of targeting a sustainable production platform of approximately 600,000 gold equivalent ounces per year with a line of sight until at least 2030. Following the successful execution of operational stabilization initiatives and growth projects over the past two years, we are increasingly looking to unlock the long-term value of our operations. Based on mineral reserves alone, Rainy River and New Afton have mine lives to 2031 and 2030, respectively, and modest conversion of Mineral Resources to Mineral Reserves would not only extend mine lives but also improve the production profiles from 2027 to 2031 with minimal capital investment. The strategic outlook demonstrates our confidence in the sustainability of our operations,” President and CEO Patrick Godin announced 8 Feb. 2024 in an official stmt.

Mandalay Resources Corp. (TSX: MND) (OTCQB: MNDJF) appointed Hashim Ahmed as its new EVP and CFO, effective 1 Mar. 2024. As previously announced, current CFO Nick Dwyer resigned for personal reasons and will be supporting the transition to Ahmed, the co. announced 6 Feb. 2024 in an official stmt.

enCore Energy Corp. (NASDAQ: EU) (TSXV: EU) announced the appointment of Robert Willette as Chief Legal Officer, the co. announced 1 Feb. 2024 in an official stmt. In conjunction, the co. granted Willette 125,000 common shrs at a price of $6.25 CDN/share for a 5-yr period, in accordance w/ its stock option plan. Vesting will occur over 24 mths, w/ an initial 25% of the options vesting 6 mths following the date of grant, followed by an additional 25% of the options every 6 mths thereafter until fully vested.

US

— The BODs of Nucor Corp. (NYSE: NUE) declared the regular qtrly cash dividend of $0.54/shr on Nucor’s common stock. The dividend is payable on 10 May 2024 to stockholders of record on 28 Mar. and is Nucor’s 204th consecutive qtrly cash dividend, the co. announced 20 Feb. 2024 in an official stmt.

— Cargobase, a logistics technology platform for enterprise shippers, established a new office in Detroit, as the HQs for the US and Canada, the co. said 20 Feb. 2024 in an official stmt.

Sucro Limited (TSXV: SUG) plans to construct a new cane sugar refinery in the greater Chicago area to address the growing and underserved US sugar mkt, Sucro announced 20 Feb. 2024 in an official stmt. Once complete, the new refinery will have a similar scale to the co.’s Lackawanna facility in Western New York. 

Woodside Energy said reserves additions from deepwater projects sanctioned in the US GOM and improved performance in NW Shelf and Pluto were partly offset by reserves reductions in Shenzi. Woodside expects impairments associated w/ the goodwill and purchase price allocated to Shenzi at the time of the merger w/ BHP Petroleum, and Wheatstone short-term pricing, to be included in 2023 full-year financial stmts, the co. said 15 Feb. 2024 in an official stmt.

enCore Energy Corp. (NASDAQ: EU) (TSXV: EU) announced the appointment of Ms. Shona Wilsonas CFO, the co. announced 15 Feb. 2024 in an official stmt.

Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYSE: NSC), the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET), and the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers – Transportation Division (SMART-TD), along w/ the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), inked an deal to participate in the FRA’s Confidential Close Call Reporting System (C3RS), Norfolk said 15 Feb. 2024 in an official stmt. Railroaders at the co.’s Atlanta; Elkhart, Indiana; and Roanoke, Virginia locations will participate in the pilot. Reports will be reviewed by a joint committee composed of Norfolk and labor reps, who will identify and implement safety improvements w/ the FRA’s guidance.

Blue Forest, a conservation finance non-profit focused on forest restoration, launched the Upper Mokelumne I Forest Resilience Bond in collaboration with the Upper Mokelumne River Watershed Authority (UMRWA) and the Eldorado National Forest. The bond aims to mitigate the growing threat of catastrophic wildfires in the Upper Mokelumne River watershed through strategic forest restoration and conservation finance, Blue Forest announced 15 Feb. 2024 in an official stmt. The bond, financed by mission-driven investors through the Blue Forest FRB Catalyst Facility, will support restoration activities for the first portion of the $64mn Forest Projects Plan Phase 1 (FPP1). Planning for FPP1 was funded by UMRWA and the Sierra Nevada Conservancy, and implementation of the project has started with $12mn in grant funding from two CAL FIRE grants. 

EQT Corp. (NYSE: EQT) President and CEO Toby Z. Rice stated 13 Feb. 2024 in an official stmt. the follow on the operations front: “we set multiple drilling world records and achieved our highest completion efficiency pace ever, while simultaneously improving our EHS intensity by 22% year-over-year. This stellar execution allowed us to generate roughly $880mn of free cash flowin 2023 despite natural gas prices averaging just $2.74/MMBtu, which speaks to our advantaged position at the low end of the North American natural gas cost curve. We also integrated the Tug Hill and XcL Midstream assets at a company record pace while driving incremental upside to synergies by leveraging our best-in-class operating model.”

— “Diamondback will become an acquisition target in 2025 given its larger size with likely buyout candidates including ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil Corp., and Chevron Corp.,” Tortoise Senior Portfolio Manager and Managing Director Rob Thummel said Feb. 13 in a research note. “Private operators in the Permian have been a significant source of significant oil production growth in 2023 as they drilled a lot to build up production and cash flow for potential sales of their companies. Publicly traded oil producers have been more disciplined with capital spending as a result production growth has been lower with the public versus private operators. The point is that Permian production growth is likely to slow given the significant shift from private to public operations.”

enCore Energy Corp. (NASDAQ: EU) (TSXV: EU) announced the appointment of Mr. Robert Willetteas Chief Legal Officer, the co. announced 1 Feb. 2024 in an official stmt.

PNM Resources (NYSE: PNM) management will meet with analysts and investors this week, the co. announced 13 Feb.2024. During the meetings, mgmt is expected to affirm the co.’s 2024 consolidated earnings guidance of $2.65 to $2.75/diluted shr. 

enCore Energy Corp. (NASDAQ: EU) (TSXV: EU) announced the appointment of Mr. Robert Willetteas Chief Legal Officer, the co. announced 1 Feb. 2024 in an official stmt.

MIDDLE EAST

Turkey

SSR Mining Inc. (Nasdaq/TSX: SSRM; ASX: SSR) announced the suspension of operations at the Çöpler mine as a result of a large slip on the heap leach pad. This event occurred in the morning of 13 Feb. 2024 at approximately 6:30 am EST, and all operations at Çöpler have been suspended as a result, SSR Mining said 13 Feb. 2024 in an official stmt.

AUSTRALIA

Woodside has broadened its strategic relationship w/ JERA through a transaction that involves three core elements: equity in the Scarborough JV; LNG offtake; and collaboration on opportunities in new energy and lower carbon services.

Woodside will host a teleconference providing an overview of the full-year 2023 results and a question and answer session will be hosted by its CEO Meg O’Neill, and CFO Graham Tiver, on 27 Feb. 2024 at 7.00am (AWST).

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By Ian Silverman, Aaron Simonsky and Piero Stewart. © Energy Analytics Institute (EAI). All Rights Reserved.

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