– Saudi Aramco hit $2 trillion on its second day of trading Thursday, but let’s not get overly excited. Yes, it’s bigger than Apple, technically, but it’s a lot of smoke and mirrors at this point. Aramco saw shares rise 10% at the open, but then pared gains minutes later. That $2 trillion valuation didn’t exactly come about naturally. It took a lot of back-door pleading with GCC friends to get it there; and at home, it took a lot of subtle threatening and shifting of shares between SABIC and Aramco.
– The Tullow share dive this week (LON: TLW and OTCMKTS: TUWOY), which was near 50%, was a painful reminder that it really is make or break for the offshore oil industry. It has had a difficult year, with problems in Ghana, Kenya, and Uganda, and its recent find off the coast of Guyana was a major disappointment: it struck heavy oil—a product that has questionable commercial viability. The oil company earlier this year tried to dump its Uganda assets—and failed—leaving the company with a high debt load of $2.9 billion and no cash for investments. Then more recently, in a disastrous move, Tullow revised its 2020 production outlook downward. After the Guyana disappointment, Tullow scrapped its dividend and promptly ousted critical senior management.
Discovery & Development
– Mexican state oil company Pemex announced that it has discovered a huge oil deposit in Tabasco that could yield 500 million…