What to Watch

Oil Gains Ahead of Weekend

weaker dollar, rallying global equities and continued commitment by OPEC to cut crude output pushed oil prices higher Friday, following a rollercoaster week of trading.

Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, rose 0.44% to $64.60 a barrel on London’s ICE Futures exchange. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate futures were trading up 0.51% at $61.63 a barrel

Oil prices had fallen more than 12% over the past two weeks on the back of a stock market rout and relentless U.S. shale production. But prices have gained more than 3% over the past two days.

Energy News

Halliburton Warns of Earnings Hit

 U.S. oil field-services giant Halliburton Co. said Thursday its first-quarter earnings would be negatively impacted by delays in sand delivery by Canadian rail companies, reports The Wall Street Journal’s Christopher M. Matthews.

“Companies like Halliburton pump millions of pounds of sand in each shale well to help producers prop open rocks cracked during hydraulic fracturing, to help oil and gas seep out,” writes Mr. Matthews.

Fieldwood Energy Files for Bankruptcy

Oil producer Fieldwood Energy LLC on Thursday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection following a deal with investors that includes a debt-for-equity swap and the purchase of Noble Energy Inc.’s Gulf-based oil-and-gas assets, reports The Wall Street Journal’s Patrick Fitzgerald and Ryan Dezember.

 

“Base case projections for long-term growth in energy demand may be too conservative…Future energy demand growth will be derived from emerging markets”

– Analysts at UBS

 

Rail Shortage in Canada Delays Oil Deliveries

A shortage of rail cars in Canada is holding up shipments of oil and grain, weighing on the nation’s crude future prices and putting farmers in a tight financial spot, reports Bloomberg.

 

Big Number

10 Cents

Halliburton Co. said it expects an impact of 10 cents a share on its first-quarter earnings, as a result of sand delivery delays by Canadian rail firms.

FutureCurve

Today: Baker Hughes releases weekly data on the number of rigs drilling for oil in the U.S.

Feb. 20-22: The Energy Institute Hosts the International Petroleum Week conference in London. Speakers include BP Chief Executive Bob Dudley and Dr. Fatih Birol, executitve director of the International Energy Agency.

March 5-9: Cambridge Energy Research Associates hosts the CERA Week energy conference in Houston. Speakers include Amin Nasser, chief executive of Saudi Arabian Oil Co., or Aramco.

Reporter’s Notebook

Wall Street Journal reporter Christopher M. Matthews on pipeline operators. Spectra Energy said it took a non-cash $860 million charge in the fourth quarter to set aside money for an estimated regulatory liability as the result of the tax overhaul. Pipeline companies, including Spectra, could be forced to lower rates on certain pipes because of the reduction of the corporate tax rate. Spectra said Thursday the charge had no immediate impact to the rates of the affected assets. If it is forced to lower rates on certain pipelines, Spectra said the charge may be required to be amortized over the life of those assets.

Wall Street Journal reporter Vipal Monga on Keystone.TransCanada is discussing access for its proposed expansion of the Keystone pipeline with landowners and indigenous groups in Nebraska as it prepares to begin construction sometime next year, says Paul Miller, president of TransCanada’s liquids pipelines division. In a post-earnings conference call, Miller says the company needs to get access to new tracts of land as it adjusts to comply with state regulators, who approved an alternate route to the one the company preferred.

Wall Street Journal reporter Dan Molinski on offshore drilling challenges. Offshore drillers have been perhaps the hardest hit from the 2014 oil bust and most have stopped disclosing rig day-rates or monthly fleet status reports, perhaps hoping would-be investors will figure no news is good news. But firms like Evercore ISI have tried to fill in the information void, and recent data is actually encouraging. “A total of 24 contracts have been confirmed thus far this month, tracking above pace of 19 at this time a year ago,” Evercore says.