订阅

多平台阅读

微信订阅

杂志

申请纸刊赠阅

订阅每日电邮

移动应用

商业 - 能源

英国石油重启钻井作业,石油巨头金刚不败

Shelley DuBois 2011年10月31日

石油巨头们的犯错门槛如此之高,一如市场对能源的需求,因此很难想象,到底得犯下多大的错误,它们才会真正受到惩罚。

    上周,英国石油公司(BP)收获颇丰。这家公司不仅在上周一公布了好于预期的营收业绩,27日,它又获准在墨西哥湾重启石油钻探,自去年酿成巨灾的漏油事故以来,这还是头一次。虽然仍处于“修复模式”(repair mode),但该公司似乎正在重回正轨,并正加速重返墨西哥湾地区的石油钻探领域。

    本周,媒体对BP的报道一直表现得谨慎乐观,与一年半以前的情形有着天壤之别。2010年4月,BP一个钻探平台火光冲天的照片在各大媒体广为流传,大众对BP的怒火也随之蔓延。当时起火的平台属于瑞士近海石油钻探商Transocean公司,由BP运营。平台爆炸引起原油大量外泄,致使BP无法控制——为了阻止原油大量流入墨西哥湾海域,公司用了整整86天时间进行各种尝试,其间数次努力未果。而BP的领导层似乎对此充耳不闻,行动迟缓。当时,11名工人在Horizon平台上死于非命,时任公司首席执行官的托尼•海沃德却说,他希望生活重回正轨。坊间甚至一度猜测,这家石油巨头可能将宣告破产。

    上周,各大石油公司开始公布收入,BP王者归来。与去年同一财季相比,BP的利润几乎增长两倍,从18亿美元增至49亿美元,净收入则增长31%,达到了976亿美元。

收入猛增的幕后故事

    净收入猛增部分原因在于与漏油事故有关的巨额成本所致,这些成本去年还停留于公司的资产负债表上。外界要求BP就此发表评论,但它未作出回应。目前,这家公司仍在经受那场灾难所带来的财务剧痛的折磨。与去年同一财季相比,BP本财季的收入跌幅略低于4%,从55亿美元跌至53亿美元,主要是因为它卖出了可处置资产及储备现金为漏油造成的损失买单。这也意味着,BP的石油产量并不如去年同期。与去年同期相比,其产量下降了12%,减至每日330万桶。BP2011年第三财季的收益报告称,公司最终将为漏油事故付出多大代价目前尚不得而知。

    毫无疑问,BP面临着重大的考验。钻探石油的风险日益增大,这主要是由于与政局不稳的外国政府合作所带来的政治风险,还有勘探深海区域这类需要高技术的领域所带来的实际风险。

    但是所有石油公司几乎都面临着这样的风险。而且恰恰是这这些公司,BP也不例外,都时刻准备从高企的油价中大获其利。埃克森石油公司(Exxon)今天上午宣布,拜高油价所赐,与去年同期相比,其营收猛增41%,达到了103亿美元,而其产量则相对持平。而华尔街的机构则正期待着雪佛龙石油公司(Chevron)28日上午也将宣布巨额的营收。

    因此,尽管必须为在美国水域所造成的有史以来最为严重的漏油事故负责,BP还是安然无恙。尽管人们对BP在深海的安全措施表示强烈抗议,这家公司照样大举上马了更多的海上勘探项目。就在本财季,BP获得了在特立尼达和多巴哥(拉丁美洲岛国——译注)附近深海区域进行钻井勘探的租约。获准在墨西哥湾钻探的许可后,它还有望在这一地区获得更多类似的钻探许可。而墨西哥湾正是BP获利丰厚的重要地区。

    It's been a big week for BP. Not only did it report better-than-expected earnings on Monday, but yesterday it received the first permit to resume drilling in the Gulf of Mexico since the catastrophic oil spill last year. The company appears to be on track, albeit in repair mode, and gearing up for a kind of drilling homecoming in the Gulf.

    The press around the company this week has been cautiously positive. This is a far cry from what it was over a year and a half ago. In April 2010, outrage at BP (BP) spread as pictures of a burning oil rig, owned by Transocean (RIG) and operated by BP, circulated through the press. The explosion on the rig caused a well leak that the company couldn't control -- it took 86 days and several failed attempts to stop the crude from hemorrhaging into Gulf waters. BP's leadership seemed tone-deaf and slow. Then-CEO Tony Hayward said he wanted his life back, when 11 workers had died on the Horizon rig. And there was even speculation that the oil giant would go bankrupt.

    Now, BP is holding its own during Big Oil earnings week. The energy company's profits nearly doubled from the same quarter last year, from $1.8 billion to $4.9 billion. Net revenue increased by about 31% to $97.6 billion.

Behind the earnings jump

    The sizable jump in net income comes partly on account of the immense spill-related costs that were on the company's balance sheet last year. And BP, which did not respond to a request for comment, is still feeling financial pangs from the disaster. This quarter's earnings declined by just under 4% from the same quarter the previous year, from $5.3 billion to $5.5 billion, in part due to BP's efforts to sell expendable assets and stash cash to pay for damages. This has meant BP hasn't produced as much oil. Its production decreased by about 12% from a year earlier to the equivalent of 3.3. million barrels a day. Ultimately, it's unclear how much the spill will cost the company, the 2011 third quarter earnings report said.

    Certainly, BP has significant exposure. It has become increasingly dangerous to drill oil on account of political risks tied to allying with unstable foreign governments, as well as physical risks such as exploring highly technical terrain like deep water.

    But pretty much every oil company faces those same risks. And just about every company, BP included, is poised to profit off of the high price of oil. Exxon (XOM) reported this morning that earnings jumped 41% to $10.3 billion compared to the same time last year, thanks to the high price of oil, but it's production levels remained fairly flat. And Wall Street expects Chevron (CVX) to report high earnings tomorrow morning.

    So despite being responsible for the worst spill in U.S. waters, BP is fine. And despite the outcry against BP's safety practices in deep water, the company is pushing onward with more offshore projects. Just this quarter, BP received leases to drill in new deepwater blocks off the coast of Trinidad and Tobago. The company also expects other permits to follow the one it received yesterday to drill in the Gulf, BP's bread-and-butter region.

1 2 下一页

我来点评

  最新文章

最新文章:

500强情报中心

财富专栏