STO Share Price History
30 Jul, 2020
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- In folklore, the will-o’-the-wisp is a spirit that lives in marshlands, beckoning night-time travelers with its mysterious light until they stumble in darkness to their demise.The phenomenon is thought to be caused by igniting swamp methane, so it’s oddly appropriate that one of the world’s largest exporters of such fossil gas seems intent on pursuing that industry to its own destruction. An Australian task force on helping the manufacturing industry recover from Covid-19 will recommend subsidies for gas infrastructure and bringing in the government as a guaranteed buyer if commercial customers don’t show sufficient demand, the Sydney Morning Herald and Age newspapers reported Wednesday.That’s an extraordinarily bad idea. Australia’s determination to use taxpayer funds to bring uncommercial gas projects online has helped swell a glut of methane in the seaborne trade over the past decade as operators including Chevron Corp., Santos Ltd., Origin Energy Ltd., Royal Dutch Shell Plc, and Woodside Petroleum Ltd. built plants capable of exporting more than 100 billion cubic meters a year. That oversupply has pushed spot prices for Asian liquefied natural gas as low as $2 per million British thermal units this year, an 80% drop on levels that prevailed a decade ago. Despite its own surging exports, that hasn’t been a win for Australia.While exports of oil and LNG now total around A$60 billion ($43 billion) a year, an immense tax offset granted to builders of export facilities worth nearly a quarter of a trillion dollars has ensured that revenues from petroleum taxes average little more than A$1 billion annually. Qatar, which is still marginally ahead as the world’s biggest LNG exporter, has built an entire economy on petroleum royalties. Australia, on the other hand, makes more than twice as much from beer excise tax.The building of the current crop of export facilities sparked a jobs boom nearly a decade ago, but that dissipated once construction ceased. Employment in oil and gas production now totals about 20,500 people. Bookings agent Flight Centre Travel Group Ltd. has a workforce about the same size as Australia’s entire upstream petroleum industry.To be sure, oil and gas extraction is now a significant sector, accounting for about A$44 billion of gross value added per year. Still, the 2.3% of gross domestic product looks like a poor return on the decades of industrial policy that were needed to develop it.The current push for further subsidies is likely to make a bad problem worse. It’s a priority for a manufacturing task force because the previous gas projects on the populous east coast were designed entirely for export, starving industry of the artificially cheap fuel that some countries (and the remote state of Western Australia) reserve for domestic use.But Australia’s industrial sector is never going to be a powerhouse worthy of such interventions. Labor costs are too high and its location too remote from global supply chains for the country to be a significant player in large-scale complex manufacturing, as demonstrated by the collapse of its car industry over the past decade.Any set-aside gas generated as a result of the proposed policies is most likely to end up used in low-value applications like explosives and fertilizer. Together. these account for just a percentage point or so of goods exports, which don’t include major services exports such as tourism and education. At a time when the European Union and Joe Biden’s presidential campaign are looking at imposing tariffs or quotas on carbon-intensive imports, the idea that gas-fired manufacturing will lead to a renaissance of Australian industry seems delusional.The ultimate problem is that from the perspective of global petroleum companies, Australia’s relatively high costs put its potential projects outside the range of viable investments — and that field is already narrowing, thanks to the recent collapse in oil prices and rise of electrified transport.Only government spending and tax shields are capable of shifting Australian projects far enough down the cost curve to make sense, but that means that they’ll always be marginal and dependent on ongoing support. A typical 30-year gas project starting development in 2020 would face challenges to getting financed in a world that hopes to eliminate carbon emissions by 2050, but plenty of projects still manage. Indeed, the 96 billion cubic meters of new LNG capacity signed off last year was a record.Investors are quite capable of finding the rare fossil fuel projects that are strong enough to make a return in a de-carbonizing world. The trouble is, it’s not seeing them in Australia. Rather than using taxpayer money to put its thumb on those scales, Australia would be better stepping back and letting the market decide.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.David Fickling is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering commodities, as well as industrial and consumer companies. He has been a reporter for Bloomberg News, Dow Jones, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times and the Guardian.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
28 Jul, 2020
Kevin Gallagher became the CEO of Santos Limited (ASX:STO) in 2016, and we think it's a good time to look at the...
24 Jun, 2020
The gas industry sees no change to the strong long-run outlook for demand following the COVID-19 crisis, but expects a supply shortfall in the next four years as the pandemic lockdowns and oil price collapse lead to delays on gas projects. "We see the need for substantial investment in new projects and new liquefaction," Exxon Mobil Corp's Australia Chairman Nathan Fay said at Credit Suisse's annual Australian Energy Conference.
21 May, 2020
Today we'll look at Santos Limited (ASX:STO) and reflect on its potential as an investment. Specifically, we're going...
15 May, 2020
Italian energy group Eni is working with investment bank Citi to sell natural gas assets in Australia that could fetch up to $1 billion, sources said. The sale, which is expected to be launched next week in a two-round process, could see Eni all but exit from Australia. Eni declined to comment, while Citi was not immediately available for comment.
11 May, 2020
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Large institutions resist change, and nowhere more so than in the way they pay their bosses.Despite scandals and crises, executive compensation has remained too generous, too opaque and too loosely linked to long-term goals. The upheaval wrought by the Covid-19 pandemic provides the opportunity for a remake: Simpler, smaller packages with a more significant non-financial component would mark a welcome shift.The figures are stark. Inflation-adjusted pay for chief executives at the largest U.S. companies climbed 940% between 1978 and 2018, the Economic Policy Institute found, using the more conservative of two methodologies, in a report published last year. The S&P rose about 700% over the same period. Worker wages, meanwhile, increased by less than 12%.The size of pay packages is only the most eye-catching part of the problem: Far more important is how corporate leaders are remunerated, and whether that lines up with long-term goals, financial and otherwise. As a gauge, consider the increase in attention paid to environmental, social and governance, or ESG, targets. This has permeated incentive plans in only a minority of cases. A mere 9% of FTSE All World companies link executive pay to ESG criteria, mostly occupational health and safety concerns, according to Sustainalytics. Even for those, only a tiny proportion of total remuneration is affected.The good news is that the current cataclysm is prompting better behavior than we saw during the 2008 financial crisis, with at least some leaders moving swiftly to share the pain of employees. Qantas Airways Ltd. Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce, whose airline has furloughed most of its workforce, won’t take any salary until the end of the financial year in June. Elsewhere in aviation, Ryanair Holdings Plc CEO Michael O’Leary has taken a steep pay cut, along with staff. General Electric Co.’s Larry Culp will forgo his full wage for the rest of 2020.Granted, they have better cushions than most employees and there is self-interest here, given the outsize importance to corporate valuations of intangible assets like reputation. Yet these are welcome gestures, not least when compared to those who have rushed to cut costs and take government help without trimming at the top. They aren’t markers of real change, though. It will be far more significant to see how boards manage short- and long-term incentive decisions for 2020. Shareholder advisers are already warning against excesses in variable pay. There is one bigger reason to anticipate substantial change: timing. The coronavirus has hit at a critical moment for shareholder capitalism. It’s been two years since BlackRock Inc. co-founder Larry Fink told CEOs to contribute to society. The Business Roundtable last year had executives pledge to build companies that serve “all Americans.” ESG demands are louder, as seen at last month’s annual general meeting of Australian oil and gas outfit Santos Ltd. It was happening already; now it’s happening faster.Xavier Baeten, professor in reward and sustainability at Vlerick Business School in Belgium, says companies are likely to see pressure from at least two quarters. First, shareholders may well balk at remuneration that rises when dividends dissipate. Second, governments could make aid dependent on firms not paying bonuses. Society may also find hefty bonuses more unpalatable after months of clapping to support underpaid nurses and carers.So what are the changes to aim for? Pay is inherently complex, and investors can make multiple and often competing demands of one board. It’s also true that despite plentiful research demonstrating that pay isn’t a significant motivating factor for chief executives, the quantum is unlikely to change dramatically. There is, though, plenty of scope to improve structure.Most obviously, a post-pandemic world could do with a stronger push from board members (and investors) for increased transparency and simplicity, with fewer, more individually tailored goals. Then, we need share allocations that encourage executives to think over longer time-frames, and don't just result in colossal pay awards in boom years. This could mean more restricted stock that has to be held for a period even once employment has ceased. It could mean extending ownership requirements. There are plenty of pitfalls: Proxy advisers will need convincing, and long holding periods can mean executives discount the perk. The advantages are significant, though.A third step could be to increase the non-financial portion of targets to as much as half of the total. Again, these aren’t popular with advisers who dismiss what they see as soft goals. Still, as compensation consultant Seymour Burchman of Semler Brossy argues, they reinforce strategy if tailored, specific and measurable. Dutch bank ING Groep NV, for example, uses retail customer growth as one measure. Others might use customer satisfaction, investment targets, total recordable injury frequency rate or, as Semler Brossy’s Kathryn Neel points out, corporate reputation, as gauged by a third party. ESG would be part of this, in a testable and appropriate form that measures opportunity as well as risk. For resources companies, that could be a multiplier that nullifies all bonus in the event of an accident. For a drinks company, it might be water management, or reducing plastic. Combined with the obligation to hold shares for longer, the incentives align.Shareholders’ meetings globally have been delayed or moved online because of the coronavirus, but there is plenty more disruption to come. Boards, the ultimate arbiters, will find decisions this year have lasting consequences. In a crisis, underestimate pay at your peril.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Clara Ferreira Marques is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering commodities and environmental, social and governance issues. Previously, she was an associate editor for Reuters Breakingviews, and editor and correspondent for Reuters in Singapore, India, the U.K., Italy and Russia.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
07 May, 2020
Lockdowns to slow the coronavirus pandemic are pummelling gas demand in the world's biggest buyers of liquefied natural gas (LNG), pushing Asia's spot prices to record lows and forcing some suppliers to start cutting output. Economies worldwide have ground to a halt as virus containment measures have taken their toll, slashing gas demand for power generation, heating, cooking, vehicles and chemical manufacture. Asia's spot LNG prices dropped to $1.85 per million British thermal units (mmBtu) last week, the lowest ever, as cargoes have flooded the market.
19 Apr, 2020
Citigroup Australia has appointed former Deutsche Bank veteran Alex Cartel to head its investment banking business, according to a statement from the bank. Cartel will join Citigroup in July and report to the bank's head of capital markets and advisory, Tony Osmond, as the Wall Street bank bolsters its Australian investment banking team.
17 Apr, 2020
Santos (ASX:STO) shareholders are no doubt pleased to see that the share price has bounced 37% in the last month...
26 Mar, 2020
Malaysia's Petronas has offered a liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargo for loading in May from Australia's Gladstone plant, two industry sources said. A second source said that the cargo was offered through private discussions and not a tender.
04 Mar, 2020
Full Year 2019 Santos Ltd Earnings Call
03 Mar, 2020
Santos Ltd. reported a final investment decision on the Van Gogh Infill Development Phase Two Project offshore Western Australia.
13 Feb, 2020
S&P Global said on Thursday that China National Offshore Oil Corp's (CNOOC) recent declaration of force majeure on some liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports will not affect its ratings or that of Australian LNG exporters. CNOOC, China's biggest LNG importer, has invoked force majeure to suspend contracts with at least three suppliers, two sources told Reuters on Feb. 6.
06 Feb, 2020
Exxon Mobil Corp and the Papua New Guinea government must return to the negotiating table so that a $13 billion expansion of gas production can proceed, the head of French oil major Total , a partner in the plan, said on Thursday. The plan, which would double liquified natural gas (LNG) exports from the South Pacific nation, hinges on agreements to develop two new gas fields, but PNG walked away from talks with Exxon on one of those fields last week. The other agreement, with Total, was sealed last September.
31 Jan, 2020
02 Dec, 2019
ENN Clean Energy International Investment Ltd -- Moody's changes ENN Ecological's outlook to positive
Moody's Investors Service has affirmed ENN Ecological Holdings Co., Ltd's Ba2 corporate family rating (CFR), as well as the Ba2 rating on the senior unsecured notes issued by ENN Clean Energy International Investment Limited and guaranteed by ENN Ecological. Moody's rating action follows ENN Ecological's announcement on 21 November that it will acquire a 32.80% stake in ENN Energy Holdings Limited (ENN Energy, Baa2 stable) for RMB25.8 billion from ENN Group International Investment Limited (EGII) and Essential Investment Holding Company Limited.