Iraqi oil ministry says has no ties to oil tanker seized by Iran

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Iraq’s oil ministry said it has no connection with an oil tanker seized by Iran in the Gulf for smuggling fuel, Iraqi News Agency reported, said Reuters.

“The ministry does not export diesel to the international market,” the ministry said in a statement.

Iran had said earlier that the tanker sized by its elite forces in the Gulf for allegedly smuggling fuel was an Iraqi ship, the official IRNA news agency reported.

Iraq’s relevant authorities are working to gather information about the seized vessel, the oil ministry statement added.

Two Iraqi port officials said initial information obtained show that the seized “small ship” is owned by a private shipping company which is owned by an Iraqi private trader.

Kinder Morgan Terminals says refiner owes nearly USD1.5M

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Kinder Morgan Liquids Terminals LLC says Philadelphia Energy Solutions failed to make payments for fuel storage and other services totaling nearly USD1.5 million since December, roughly seven months before the Pennsylvania refiner filed for bankruptcy, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

In a Wednesday filing, Kinder asked the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware to allow it to sell fuel stored by PES at its Carteret, New Jersey, facility to pay itself back for the missed payments.

PES, which shut its last crude unit this week, currently has 27,000 barrels of diesel fuel stored at Kinder’s terminal as part of an agreement dating to 1996, the energy infrastructure company said in the filings.

Kinder asked the court to terminate its storage agreement with PES and clear its units of PES fuel so it can lease the space to other companies.

The 335,000 barrel-per-day PES refinery, the largest and oldest on the East Coast, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last week for the second time in less than two years.

The bankruptcy followed a June 21 fire, which damaged the alkylation unit on the more than 1,300-acre site. Workers at the refinery are in the process of idling the facility before being laid off on Aug. 25.

Kinder Morgan Liquid Terminals is a unit of Houston-based Kinder Morgan Inc.

Exxon Mobil profit sinks on weakness in chemicals, refining

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Exxon Mobil Corp reported a 21% drop in quarterly profit, its third period in a row of weaker year-over-year results, as sharply higher oil production was offset by weaker refining and chemicals business, said the company.

Shares slipped 1.6 percent to USD71.34 in early trading even though its 73 cents a share profit topped analysts’ recently-lowered estimates. Analysts had reduced estimates to 66 cents per share after Exxon last month guided to lower year-over-year profit.

Exxon’s weaker earnings mirrored those at rivals Royal Dutch Shell, Equinor and Total SA. Shell posted its smallest profit in 30 months on weaker margins in chemicals, a loss in refining and tumbling natural gas prices. Total also cited weaker natural gas and refining operations for earnings that fell 19% from a year ago, while Equinor’s profit fell 27% on weaker oil and gas prices.

A bright spot for Exxon was oil and gas production rising 7% to 3.9 million barrels per day. Output in the top U.S. shale field, the Permian Basin, rose to 274,000 barrels of oil and gas per day, up 90% from a year ago.

“Three of our businesses were at lows in their cycles,” said Neil Chapman, an Exxon senior vice president, adding the company historically invests during downturns for long-term returns.

The largest U.S. oil producer’s net income fell to USD3.13 billion, or 73 cents per share, in the second quarter, from USD3.95 billion, or 92 cents per share, last year. “Pretty weak quarter from them once again,” said Jennifer Rowland, analyst with Edward Jones. After capital spending and dividends, Exxon had a free cash flow shortfall of USD2.7 billion, similar to last quarter, Rowland added.

Exxon has made “limited progress on asset sales,” though, analysts at Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co said in a note to clients. Exxon’s Chapman said the company remains committed to selling USD15 billion worth of assets through 2021.

The sales are needed to finance shareholder returns and major projects, but Exxon reported just USD33 million in asset sales for the period, the lowest in at least 12 quarters. That follows proceeds from sales of USD107 million in the first quarter.

Exxon’s chemicals business fell to a loss in the United States for the first time in at least three years. Lower margins and downtime drove refining profits down 88 percent over last year.

Exxon had been investing in major projects to boost production at a time when investors have been pressing oil companies to cut back on spending and increase returns to shareholders. The company said it has its best portfolio since the merger of Exxon and Mobil and does not “have to do anything” in terms of adding assets, Chapman said.

But in the Permian Basin, where the company holds 1.6 million acres and plans to use its size and scale as a competitive advantage, Chapman said it remains, “eyes wide open” about mergers and acquisitions.

Exxon boosted its estimated recoverable reserves in its offshore Guyana project to more than 6 billion barrels of oil equivalent, from 5.5 billion barrels.

IRPC reports a better-than-expected 2Q profit at ฿507m

MOSCOW (MRC) -- IRPC Public Company Limited (IRPC) has reported its 2Q19 consolidated financial statement through the Stock Exchange of Thailand, said Kaohoon.

The net profit of IRPC in the second quarter of 2019 was THB 506.93 million, decreased 87.48% YoY while the profit for six months in 2019 plunged by 90.30% mainly due to the decrease of average selling prices following the crude oil price. The crude intake was 203,000 barrels per day down by 8,000 barrels per day because the RDCC unit ceased the operation for 28 days in the first quarter.

IRPC had mMarket GIM of THB 10,387 million or USD 8.90 per barrel, decreased by THB 6,675 million or 39% from 1H/2018 as a result of the significant decrease of both petroleum and petrochemical products spread. The spread decrease was affected by many factors including the prolonged U.S-China trade war, the new capacity in the region and the increasing production rate in the U.S.

As a result of baht appreciation, the Company had foreign exchange gain of THB 340 million, increasing by THB 316 million.

However, the decrease of IRPC’s profit was better or inline to what analysts had expected. Maybank expected IRPC to report a profit in 2Q19 at THB 517 million. Tisco expected THB 506 million. KGI expected THB 509 million while Trinity expectedTHB 517 million and KS expected THB million.

Westlake Chemical tops Q2 earnings and revenue estimates

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Westlake Chemical (WLK) came out with quarterly earnings of USD0.92 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of USD0.84 per share, said Finance.

This compares to earnings of USD2.45 per share a year ago. These figures are adjusted for non-recurring items.

This quarterly report represents an earnings surprise of 9.52%. A quarter ago, it was expected that this chemical company would post earnings of USD1.38 per share when it actually produced earnings of USD0.94, delivering a surprise of -31.88%.

Over the last four quarters, the company has surpassed consensus EPS estimates two times.

Westlake, which belongs to the Zacks Chemical - Plastic industry, posted revenues of USD2.14 billion for the quarter ended June 2019, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 2.15%. This compares to year-ago revenues of USD2.24 billion. The company has topped consensus revenue estimates two times over the last four quarters.

The sustainability of the stock's immediate price movement based on the recently-released numbers and future earnings expectations will mostly depend on management's commentary on the earnings call.

Westlake shares have lost about 6.4% since the beginning of the year versus the S&P 500's gain of 13.5%.