Author Archive: Clark Williams-Derry

Energy Finance Analyst Clark Williams-Derry served for 18 years as director of energy finance and research director for the Sightline Institute, a multi-issue sustainability think-tank based in Seattle, where his research focused on U.S. and global energy markets. He was also a senior analyst for Environmental Working Group.

IEEFA U.S.: Capex cuts fail to stem gusher of red ink for Appalachian frackers

Nine major E&P companies collectively lost more than $1 billion over past year

September 10, 2020 (IEEFA) — Even after cutting capital expenditures to their lowest quarterly point in more than six years, nine Appalachian shale-focused gas producers continued to hemorrhage money, reporting more $134 million negative free cash flows in the second quarter of 2020.  Together, they have spilled $1.1 billion in red ink over the past […]

IEEFA brief: Second quarter results show that shareholder dividends pushed oil supermajors deep into red

ExxonMobil, recently kicked out of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, posted the worst performance among supermajors in Q2

August 25, 2020 (IEEFA)— One day after ExxonMobil was kicked out of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, a new analysis shows that the company suffered through one of its worst quarters in years, characterized by sharply negative free cash flows and massive borrowing to sustain its shareholder dividends. Overall, the five global oil and gas […]

IEEFA U.S.: Utah bailout of bankrupt California coal-export project likely to fail

Markets, distance, and community opposition pose obstacles - proposal lacks private sector backers

August 19, 2020 (IEEFA) —A proposed $20 million state investment in a bankrupt California coal-export project would most likely result in a loss to the state, concludes a research brief published today by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. The brief—Utah Bailout of Bankrupt California Coal-Export Project Would Likely Fail—describes how weak export […]

IEEFA report: China unlikely to come to rescue of overbuilt U.S. LNG industry

Falling prices and shrinking demand constrain market, even before coronavirus crisis

July 29, 2020 (IEEFA) — A rebound of the ailing U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry isn’t likely to come from Chinese demand, according to a new study by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA). Global LNG markets have been hammered by collapsing prices, falling consumption, and an enormous supply glut in […]

IEEFA update: Frackers record positive free cash flow during Q1, no thanks to economics of gas industry

Capex reductions, financial hedging offset plunging demand

June 25, 2020 (IEEFA)—Nine fracking-focused gas companies in Appalachia reported a positive free cash flow during the first quarter of 2020—but only after slashing capital expenditures and reporting significant revenues from financial hedging, according to a new study by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA). The positive first quarter results, however, didn’t […]

IEEFA U.S.: Four of five oil supermajors pay investor dividends even as operations losses mount

Spending on dividends and buybacks outpaces free cash flow by $216M over last decade

May 26, 2020 (IEEFA) — Four of the world’s five largest oil and gas companies spent more cash on dividends and share buybacks during the first quarter of the year than they generated from their core business operations, according to a briefing note released today by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA). […]

IEEFA Gas Chat: Even before COVID-19, the oil and gas industry’s model was broken (PODCAST)

The current glut of LNG globally will likely persist

The global fracking industry has a fundamentally broken business model which is: Let’s produce as much oil and gas as we can and hope that prices rise as a result. “It’s completely backward”, says IEEFA’s Clark Williams-Derry. “What we’ve ended up with is a global supply glut and weak demand.” With COVID-19, oil and gas […]

IEEFA update: Financial prospects falter for LNG projects

Cancellations mount due to coronavirus and falling demand

The financial prospects for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) ‒ once one of the globe’s hottest energy commodities – seem to be imploding before our eyes. In the most recent step in a monumental market meltdown, front-month LNG futures prices in Asia settled yesterday at just $2.05 per MMBtu. As recently as a year and a […]

IEEFA update: Swimming in oil and nowhere to put it?

Price dive and demand slide lead to storage crisis

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports that U.S. oil stores grew by another 15 million barrels this past week. That’s the third-highest weekly storage build ever, trailing only the previous week and the week before that. In other words, the last three weeks have contributed to the fastest month-over-month storage build of all time:  63.3 million barrels […]

IEEFA update: Oil majors paid $216 billion more to shareholders than they earned directly from business over the past decade

“Deficit spending” widens as companies continue to borrow heavily and sell off assets

April 6, 2020 (IEEFA U.S.) ‒ The world’s five largest publicly traded oil and gas companies shelled out a total of $71.2 billion in dividends and share buybacks last year, while generating only $61.0 billion in free cash flow. This “deficit spending” points to a deeper crisis in the increasingly volatile industry, according to a […]