KUALA LUMPUR (April 10): Asian integrated and upstream oil and gas (O&G) companies should see their profits rise, on the back of the accelerated recovery of their upstream earnings, according to Moody's Investors Service.
In its latest edition of the Asia Oil & Gas Quarterly, Moody's pointed out that the improved oil price environment as well as cost rationalisation will provide an upside to earnings.
"In addition, we expect that upstream acquisitions will increase, based on the announced divestment plans of global O&G majors in Asia," said Moody's assistant vice president and analyst Rachel Chua.
Moreover, the credit rating company said oil prices should stay range-bound and volatile, registering US$40 to US$60 per barrel for Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude oil respectively until at least 2018."Prices in the upper half of the oil price band would support increases in crude oil output, in particular due to rising US shale oil production, where production costs have fallen significantly," it added.
As for the Singapore complex gross refinery margin, Moody's said such margins will remain volatile in 2017, driven by continuing oversupply conditions in Asia, and the likely price volatility of petroleum products' feedstock.Specifically, Moody's expects a healthy refining margin of US$5 to US$5.50 per barrel over the next 12 to 18 months. Such levels are in line with long-term average prices.