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EY Price Point:
global oil and gas
market outlook
Q4 | October 2020
Q4 overview
As we close the third quarter of 2020, a second wave of COVID-19 infections is sweeping across Europe, while
the US, Latin America and India remain mired in what is either a second wave or a continuation of the first
wave. While progress is being made in adapting economies and putting people back into the workplace, there is
substantial uncertainty in how the demand for oil and gas will be impacted in the medium and long term. There
is an almost two million barrel per day gap between two reputable forecasts regarding the difference in demand
between the end of 2021 and the end of 2019.
In contrast, with the exception of the years of the Great Recession, year-over-year changes in actual oil demand
have been in a range half that size. Moreover, by the time we return to normal (whatever that means), we may
be in the midst of a transition away from hydrocarbons.
Oil and gas prices have recovered steadily from their lows and are relatively stable, but that stability is
supported by the combination of purposeful withholding of production by oil-producing countries and economic
stress on upstream independents. Oil prices closed the quarter roughly where they started it, while refining
spreads were down slightly. LNG spreads were substantially higher at the end of Q3 than they were at the
beginning of the quarter but are still roughly half of what is generally thought of as sustainable.
Going forward, the market will be looking closely at how the economy and demand respond to new
developments with respect to a potential COVID-19 vaccine and the US election.
Gary Donald
EY Global Oil & Gas Assurance Leader
gdonald@uk.ey.com
Andy Brogan
EY Global Oil & Gas Leader
abrogan@uk.ey.com
Q4 | October 2020 EY Price Point: global oil and gas market outlookPage 2
Q4 theme
The theme for this quarter is incongruence. Oil and gas prices remained remarkably stable, but they are stable
at levels that are fundamentally unsustainable. Demand exceeded supply by a little less than 4 million barrels
per day, but that supply shortfall exists in the context of OECD commercial inventories being 185 million barrels
higher than they were in February 2020. Historically, oil and gas markets have recovered in concert with the
drawdown of stocks, but there is significant risk surrounding how quickly or completely that will happen.
Since oil demand bottomed out in April, it has recovered by almost three million barrels per day per month and
is expected to recover by an average of one million barrels per day each month for the balance of the year. Our
EY analysis indicates that a change of only 20,000 barrels per day in that rate of recovery could accelerate or
delay the return to normal inventory levels by almost six months.
OPEC members have carried a disproportionate weight of the production cuts necessary to keep storage from
overflowing and preventing another market meltdown. Oil prices had hovered at or near the fiscal breakeven
for sometime before the COVID-19 crisis, and those estimates assumed “normal” production levels. There is
tremendous fiscal pressure on oil exporters to increase output back to normalized levels, and there are already
indications of some quota deviations from smaller members.
LNG developers continue to struggle with the immediate reality of spreads that are too small to support
investments, the expectation of demand growth as a low-carbon bridge, the lack of capital and the potential for
missed opportunity.
• Can OPEC compliance be sustained in the face of fiscal pressures?
• How much and how long will it take cash constraints and cuts in upstream investment to impact supplies?
Will those cuts to capacity coincide with a return to normal demand and cause a supply crunch or even a
price spike?
• What will it take for LNG markets to return to and stabilize at levels that support new investments??Q4 | October 2020 EY Price Point: global oil and gas market outlookPage 3
Q4 trends
EY Price Point: global oil and gas market outlookPage 4 Q4 | October 2020
Rebalancing
of gas and
LNG supplies
LNG projects have been deferred as
prices remain depressed and capital
scarce. Slowing growth in supply may
accelerate the rebalancing of the
market and improve prospects for
existing assets.
Upstream deals
The need to raise cash has led to an
increase in assets listed for sale.
Valuation will be difficult in this
environment, and time will tell how
many deals close.
Producers
anxious to
increase
output
OPEC producers have cut output by 14%
since the demand fallout, while North
American and international producers
have cut output by 10% and 4%,
respectively. Revenue considerations
may force a rethink of that policy.
International oil companies continue
to roll out strategies engineered to
de-emphasize oil and gas and meet
the demand for low-carbon energy.
Investor questions about those
strategies are increasing.
Growing risk to
the future of
hydrocarbons
Market fundamentals
Q4 | October 2020 EY Price Point: global oil and gas market outlookPage 5
• Global upstream M&A activity has started to recover and peaked in July, after a US-
based IOC acquired a North American independent operator. This is the largest
upstream transaction of 2020 and represents over 50% of the US$24 billion
announced upstream transactions. The US is the most active M&A market, accounting
for over 75% of the 2020 deals.
• Continued low commodity prices are driving an increase in the amount of upstream
assets listed for sale as companies face financial distress or look to optimize their
portfolios. IOCs and other financially strong companies continue to look for
opportunities to scale through strategic deals and bolt-on acquisitions.
• Although there has been an increase in deal activity, the uncertainty surrounding oil
demand, a potential resurgence of COVID-19, the US presidential election and various
other factors may adversely impact the ability to close deals. Also, deal closure
requires agreement on valuations that are dependent on long-term price views.
Although markets are stable in the near term, there is a significant disparity of views
about how migration away from hydrocarbons will affect commodity prices in the long
run.
Global upstream deals on the rise
Source: Enverus; EY analysis
0
20
40
60
80
0
5
10
15
January February March April May June July August
Numberofdeals
Dealvalue
Deal value (US$ billion) Deal count
• Oil demand continues to recover but at an uncertain and uneven pace. Aviation faces a
particularly problematic future in a post-pandemic world. Even with a vaccine,
uncertainties about its effectiveness and the public’s potential concern about safety
and the risk of vaccine acceptance may make governments reluctant to open the door
completely to foreign travelers. In addition, businesses have adapted to new ways of
working, and international business travel may be curtailed permanently.
• Oil supply is increasing but at measured rates. Total OPEC production has increased by
less than two million barrels per day (mmbpd) since it bottomed out in June while
demand increased by about 6.5 mmbpd. Since March, OPEC countries have reduced
output by 14%, while North American and other international producers have reduced
output by 10% and 4%, respectively.
• The market continues to eat away at the inventories that accumulated in the early
stages of the COVID-19 crisis. Between January and May, stocks accumulated at an
average rate of about 8.3 mmbpd. Subsequently, stocks have been drawn at an
average rate of 3.3 mmbpd, and stock drawdown is expected to continue at that rate
until the end of the year.
OPEC leads the way on market balancing
Source: US EIA; EY analysis
Q4 | October 2020 EY Price Point: global oil and gas market outlookPage 6
Market fundamentals
-25%
-20%
-15%
-10%
-5%
0%
5%
10%
15%
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun
US Canada
%changeinBOEproduction(y-o-y)
• Declining capex commitments, slow demand recovery and the battered financials of
independents are reflected in North American oil and gas production. US shale and
Canadian oil sands are substantially impacted by the downturn, and the marginal
economics might have lingering effects when the market stabilizes.
• The recovery of US shale production might continue to be affected even if oil demand
starts to recover as expected in 2021. The significant reduction in capex has led to
reduced drilling and completion activities which will limit production growth even when
oil prices normalize. In addition, the fiscal constraints caused by the downturn will
discourage the rapid addition of rigs, in contrast to the last downturn.
• Given the downturn and growing environmental concerns, the future of Canadian oil
sands is being questioned. In July 2020, an IOC wrote down the value of its oil sands
assets by US$7.1 billion, branding the resource as a “stranded asset.”
• The impact of this on global markets is unclear. Pre-COVID-19, the market expected
substantial increases in US and Canadian production. As demand recovers, there may
be renewed interest or pressure on other supplies.
US and Canadian oil production declines
Source: US EIA; Canada Energy Regulator
• Companies are delaying final investment decisions on LNG projects due to
pandemic-driven demand destruction and capital availability. Originally, nearly
100 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of LNG capacity was expected to come
online by 2023, but most of that has now been deferred to 2024 and 2025.
• With new LNG supplies impacted by the pandemic, it may no longer remain a
buyers’ market. Relative to the start of 2020, where it was expected that LNG
markets would remain well-supplied through 2025 with proposed projects with
180 to 185 mtpa of capacity in the pipeline, the market may now move back into
balance earlier.
• The LNG business fundamentals remain very strong. The push to reduce carbon
emissions quickly and the relative ease of integrating gas-fired and renewable
generation assets into power systems in the near term (compared with battery
systems) could boost demand substantially in the near term. If that happens,
supplies could tighten, prices may rise and there could be another wave of LNG
investments.
Source: Globaldata
0
20
40
60
80
100
2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027
LNG capacity additions (mtpa)
Original start-up year Revised start-up year
LNG market may rebalance earlier than expected
Q4 | October 2020 EY Price Point: global oil and gas market outlookPage 7
Risks resurface for Nord Stream II pipeline
Market fundamentals
• The COVID-19 pandemic has substantially lowered the demand for gas, resulting in
cancellations of LNG cargoes and diversion to Europe, the market of last resort. As of
this writing, European gas stocks are nearly 94% full. A reduction in power demand,
depressed gas demand and lack of available storage capacity has led to a large number
of LNG cargo vessels being used as floating storage.
• The Nord Stream II pipeline, connecting Russia to Europe, is facing renewed pressure.
The US already imposed sanctions on all project partners earlier this year and new
sources of conflict have emerged. The pipeline is slated to come online in 2021 and
delays in the construction of the project will likely have muted impact on the regional
supply given the state of the markets, but the financial impact of cancellation will
certainly be substantial and will clearly influence the political process.
• Delay or cancellation could also result in a higher cost of natural gas for European
consumers and have implications for Germany’s plans to transition away from coal-
fired and nuclear power.
• Investor pressure on oil and gas companies to decarbonize is on the rise. The oil
market downturn due to the COVID-19 pandemic has provided a tailwind for oil and
gas companies’ diversification agendas.
• Previous downturns and volatility in the oil and gas market coupled with questions
over “peak oil demand” have led companies to reconsider the risks and returns in oil
and gas and alternative energy businesses. A recent study by the IEA and Imperial
College London shows that hypothetical renewable portfolios in the US and Europe
delivered higher returns and lower or comparable volatility than fossil fuel portfolios.1
• A divergence in view is emerging among the European and US oil majors in terms of
the future energy outlook and strategies to navigate the energy transition. While the
European oil majors have committed to net-zero emissions and are reorganizing to
become energy companies in the long run, the US oil majors are doubling down on
their core business with a promise to reduce carbon intensity.
Growing pressure on oil and gas companies to decarbonize
Source: Company reports; EY analysis
0%
20%
40%
60%
80%
100%
0
500
1000
1500
Sep-19 Oct-19 Nov-19 Dec-19 Jan-20 Feb-20 Mar-20 Apr-20 May-20 Jun-20 Jul-20 Aug-20 Sep-20
Europe gas storage capacity vs % occupied
Gas in storage (TWh) % Capacity full
Note: *Sep-20 data is through 19 Sep 2020.
Source: Gas Infrastructure Europe
8%
5%
20%
12%
22%
4%
2%
3% 3%
2%
2Q19 3Q19 4Q19 1Q20 2Q20
Share of analyst questions regarding decarbonization (%)
European IOCs North American IOCs
1”Energy Investing: Exploring Risk and Return in the Capital Markets,” IEA and Imperial College Business
School, June 2020
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
US$/bbl
Historical Brent Brent futures - September 2020 Brent futures - June 2020
Brent futures
Q4 | October 2020Page 8
Brent futures have remained
materially unchanged since the
last quarter, as there has been a
gradual increase in demand
coupled with production
curtailment from OPEC+
members and upstream
independents.
Although this has created
temporary stability in Brent
futures, there is still significant
uncertainty relating to the
sustainability of production cuts
and medium- to long-term oil
demand.
Futures data is effective as of
14 September 2020.
Source: Bloomberg
EY Price Point: global oil and gas market outlook
Q4 | October 2020Page 9
Oil price outlook
For both benchmarks, consultants
(on average) forecast higher oil
prices throughout the forecast
period.
Consultants focus primarily on the analysis of a
long-term sustainable oil price, whereas banks
and brokers balance their views on the basis of
current market conditions.
Consultant ranges include estimates of
recognized market consultants. Where consultant
estimates are updated only annually (for
example, the EIA and the IEA), such estimates are
included within the range of estimates from 2022
onward to prevent near-term ranges being
impacted by estimates that are not considered to
reflect current market dynamics. Brent price
estimates derived under the IEA’s “Stated
Policies” and “Sustainable Development”
scenarios (inflation adjusted to reflect nominal
pricing) are reflected within the consultant
ranges from 2022 onward.
Consultant forecasts result in averages of
US$67.2/bbl and US$59.8/bbl for Brent and
WTI, respectively, in 2024.
This data is effective as of 14 September 2020.
EY Price Point: global oil and gas market outlook
Note: The wide range of long-term price estimates reflects the degree of uncertainty within the market. Both the lower and upper end of the range provided are supported by the estimates of credible market participants. Given the width
of the range, the average of estimates should be used as a starting point for the assessment or generation of estimates.
Brent:
Average price per bbl forecast in 2024 — consultants
Brent
Bank/broker and consultant price estimates, ranges
and averages
WTI
Bank/broker and consultant price estimates, ranges
and averages
Source: Bloomberg; bank/broker reports; consultants’ websites and reports
US$67.2 WTI: US$59.8
Average price per bbl forecast in 2024 — consultants
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
2020 2021 2022 2023 2024
US$perbarrel
Bank/broker range Consultants range
Bank/broker average Consultants average
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
2020 2021 2022 2023 2024
US$perbarrel
Bank/broker range Consultants range
Bank/broker average Consultants average
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
45
50
55
2020 2021 2022 2023 2024
GBppertherm
Bank/broker range Consultant range
Bank/broker average Consultant average
Q4 | October 2020Page 10
Gas price outlook
The forecasts (on average) for
consultants, banks and brokers
are materially consistent for
Henry Hub. Consultants
predominantly forecast lower NBP
gas prices than banks and brokers.
Consultants focus primarily on the analysis of a
long-term sustainable gas price, whereas banks
and brokers balance their views on the basis of
current market conditions.
Consultant ranges include estimates of
recognized market consultants. Where consultant
estimates are updated only annually (for
example, the EIA and the IEA), such estimates are
included within the range of estimates from 2022
onward to prevent near-term ranges being
impacted by estimates that are not considered to
reflect current market dynamics. Henry Hub price
estimates derived under the IEA’s “Stated
Policies” and ”Sustainable Development”
scenarios (inflation adjusted to reflect nominal
pricing) are reflected within the consultant
ranges from 2022 onward.
NBP price estimates are scarce, with only six and
four forecasts released by banks and brokers and
consultants, respectively.
This data is effective as of 14 September 2020.
EY Price Point: global oil and gas market outlook
Note: The wide range of long-term price estimates reflects the degree of uncertainty within the market. Both the lower and upper end of the range provided are supported by the estimates of credible market participants. Given the width
of the range, the average of estimates should be used as a starting point for the assessment or generation of estimates.
*NBP: National Balancing Point
Henry Hub:
Average price per MMbtu forecast in 2024 — consultants
UK NBP:
Average price per therm forecast in 2024 — consultants
Henry Hub
Bank/broker and consultant price estimates, ranges
and averages
UK NBP
Bank/broker and consultant price estimates, ranges
and averages
US$3.1 GBp42.8
Source: Bloomberg; bank/broker reports; consultants’ websites and reports.
1.0
1.5
2.0
2.5
3.0
3.5
4.0
2020 2021 2022 2023 2024
US$perMMbtu
Bank/broker range Consultant range
Bank/broker average Consultant average
Appendix
Q4 | October 2020 EY Price Point: global oil and gas market outlookPage 11
Brent oil price estimates
This data is effective as of 14 September 2020.
Source: Bloomberg; bank/broker reports
*Certain price estimates included within the summary above may reflect real vs. nominal pricing as the bank/broker assumptions are not explicitly stated within Bloomberg or the respective reports.
Source: Consultants’ websites and reports; Oxford Economics
Bank/broker 2020 (US$/bbl) 2021 (US$/bbl) 2022 (US$/bbl) 2023 (US$/bbl) 2024 (US$/bbl)
High 46.2 59.0 65.0 60.0 60.0
Average 42.2 48.4 53.6 54.9 57.6
Median 42.2 49.0 55.0 55.0 59.9
Low 39.1 32.0 37.4 44.5 52.0
Consultant 2020 (US$/bbl) 2021 (US$/bbl) 2022 (US$/bbl) 2023 (US$/bbl) 2024 (US$/bbl)
High 43.9 52.5 80.7 84.1 87.6
Average 42.4 49.3 60.4 64.4 67.2
Median 42.2 49.1 55.5 59.2 61.8
Low 41.4 44.2 51.2 56.5 58.6
Note: Consultant ranges include estimates of recognized market consultants. Where consultant estimates are updated only annually (for example, the EIA and the IEA), such estimates are included within the range of estimates from 2022
onward to prevent near-term ranges being impacted by estimates that are not considered to reflect current market dynamics. Price estimates derived under the IEA’s “Stated Policies” and “Sustainable Development” scenarios (inflation
adjusted to reflect nominal pricing) are reflected within the consultant ranges from 2022 onward.
Appendix
Q4 | October 2020 EY Price Point: global oil and gas market outlookPage 12
WTI oil price estimates
This data is effective as of 14 September 2020.
Bank/broker 2020 (US$/bbl) 2021 (US$/bbl) 2022 (US$/bbl) 2023 (US$/bbl) 2024 (US$/bbl)
High 43.1 56.0 61.2 58.5 60.8
Average 38.8 45.4 50.7 52.1 54.1
Median 38.1 45.0 50.0 51.5 55.0
Low 36.0 35.2 40.4 46.0 47.0
Source: Bloomberg; banks and brokers reports
*Certain price estimates included within the summary above may reflect real vs. nominal pricing as the bank/broker assumptions are not explicitly stated within Bloomberg or the respective reports.
Consultant 2020 (US$/bbl) 2021 (US$/bbl) 2022 (US$/bbl) 2023 (US$/bbl) 2024 (US$/bbl)
High 40.4 49.9 59.6 65.2 75.0
Average 39.1 45.8 52.7 56.9 59.8
Median 39.0 45.9 52.0 55.7 56.8
Low 38.4 40.7 47.5 52.5 54.8
Source: Consultants’ websites and reports; Oxford Economics; EY analysis
Note: Consultant ranges include estimates of recognized market consultants. Where consultant estimates are updated only annually (for example, the EIA), such estimates are included within the range of estimates from 2022 onward to
prevent near-term ranges being impacted by estimates that are not considered to reflect current market dynamics.
Appendix
Q4 | October 2020 EY Price Point: global oil and gas market outlookPage 13
Henry Hub gas price estimates
This data is effective as of 14 September 2020.
Source: Bloomberg; banks and brokers reports
* Where brokers have reported figures in US$/mcf, we have used a conversion ratio of 1.037 for mcf conversion to MMBtu.
**Certain price estimates included within the summary above may reflect real vs. nominal pricing as the bank/broker assumptions are not explicitly stated within Bloomberg or the respective reports.
Source: Consultants’ websites and reports; Oxford Economics
Bank/broker 2020 (US$/MMBtu) 2021 (US$/MMBtu) 2022 (US$/MMBtu) 2023 (US$/MMBtu) 2024 (US$/MMBtu)
High 2.5 3.4 3.4 3.5 3.5
Average 2.0 2.6 2.6 2.7 2.8
Median 2.0 2.5 2.5 2.6 2.7
Low 1.8 2.1 2.3 2.4 2.4
Consultant 2020 (US$/MMBtu) 2021 (US$/MMBtu) 2022 (US$/MMBtu) 2023 (US$/MMBtu) 2024 (US$/MMBtu)
High 2.2 3.2 3.5 3.5 3.6
Average 2.0 2.8 3.0 3.0 3.1
Median 2.0 2.8 2.9 2.9 3.0
Low 1.9 2.6 2.5 2.5 2.6
Note: Consultant ranges include estimates of recognized market consultants. Where consultant estimates are updated only annually (for example, the EIA and the IEA), such estimates are included within the range of estimates from 2022
onward to prevent near-term ranges being impacted by estimates that are not considered to reflect current market dynamics. Price estimates derived under the IEA’s “Stated Policies” and “Sustainable Development” scenarios (inflation
adjusted to reflect nominal pricing) are reflected within the consultant ranges from 2022 onward.
Appendix
Q4 | October 2020 EY Price Point: global oil and gas market outlookPage 14
NBP gas price estimates
This data is effective as of 14 September 2020.
Bank/broker 2020 (GBp/therm) 2021 (GBp/therm) 2022 (GBp/therm) 2023 (GBp/therm) 2024 (GBp/therm)
High 25.0 40.0 50.0 52.0 40.0
Average 21.0 33.5 38.0 41.1 38.1
Median 20.4 32.4 35.5 40.0 38.1
Low 17.0 29.4 31.2 31.3 36.3
Consultant 2020 (GBp/therm) 2021 (GBp/therm) 2022 (GBp/therm) 2023 (GBp/therm) 2024 (GBp/therm)
High 22.0 37.5 45.0 47.1 51.3
Average 20.5 31.5 37.6 40.6 42.8
Median 20.5 31.2 38.4 43.1 45.5
Low 19.1 26.2 28.4 29.0 29.0
Source: Bloomberg; banks and brokers reports
* Where brokers have reported figures in US$/mcf, we have used a conversion ratio of 1.037 for mcf conversion to MMBtu and the brokers’ forecasted FX rates.
**Certain price estimates included within the summary above may reflect real vs. nominal pricing as the bank and broker assumptions are not explicitly stated within Bloomberg or the respective reports.
Source: Consultants’ websites and reports; Oxford Economics
* Where consultants have reported figures in US$/MMBtu, we have used the particular consultants' forecast FX rate for the purpose of our conversion.
Note: Consultant ranges include estimates of recognized market consultants. Where consultant estimates are updated only annually, such estimates are included within the range of estimates from 2022 onward to prevent near-term
ranges being impacted by estimates that are not considered to reflect current market dynamics.
Key contacts
Q4 | October 2020 EY Price Point: global oil and gas market outlookPage 15
Important notice
Price outlook data included in this publication is effective as of 14 September 2020. Given the rapidly evolving nature of
the market and views of market participants, analysis can quickly become outdated. It should be noted that EY analysis
is not for the purpose of providing an independent view of the outlook for oil and gas prices. Instead, we are collating
the views of market participants.
Price outlook data should not be applied mechanistically. Instead, careful consideration should be given to the purpose
of any value assessment, with price forecasts assessed in the context of other key assumptions, such as resources and
reserves classification, production rates, discount rates and cost escalation rates, together with an appreciation of the
key sensitivities in any such analysis.
Jeff Williams
EY Global Oil & Gas
Consulting Leader
+1 713 750 5916
Gary Donald
EY Global Oil & Gas
Assurance Leader
+44 20 7951 7518
Derek Leith
EY Global Oil & Gas
Tax Leader
+44 12 2465 3246
Andy Brogan
EY Global Oil & Gas
Leader
+44 20 7951 7009
John Hartung
EY Americas Oil & Gas
Strategy & Transactions
Leader
+1 713 751 2114
Anne Schot
EY Global Oil & Gas
Strategy and Operations
Leader
+852 2846 9882
EY | Assurance | Tax | Strategy and Transactions | Consulting
About EY
EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, strategy, transaction and consulting
services. The insights and quality services we deliver help build trust and
confidence in the capital markets and in economies the world over. We
develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our
stakeholders. In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better working
world for our people, for our clients and for our communities.
EY refers to the global organization, and may refer to one or more, of the
member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate
legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by
guarantee, does not provide services to clients. Information about how EY
collects and uses personal data and a description of the rights individuals
have under data protection legislation are available via ey.com/privacy. For
more information about our organization, please visit ey.com.
How EY’s Global Oil & Gas team can help you
As changing demand and pricing volatility transforms the oil and gas industry,
companies must reshape to thrive in this new energy world. But how do you
balance the immediate cost and regulatory pressures of “now” with
investment in what comes “next?” EY’s Global Oil & Gas team brings together
the breadth of experience and talent needed to offer a holistic approach to
transformation. By considering four key pillars of change — structure and
culture, customers, technology, and skills and capabilities — we can help you
adapt for today and reap the opportunities of tomorrow. And together we can
build a better working world.
© 2020 EYGM Limited.
All Rights Reserved.
EYG no. 006703-20Gbl
ED None
CSG no. 2009-3581810
This material has been prepared for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be relied
upon as legal, accounting, tax or other professional advice. Please refer to your advisors for specific
advice.
ey.com

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EY Price Point: global oil and gas market outlook (Q4, October 2020)

  • 1. EY Price Point: global oil and gas market outlook Q4 | October 2020
  • 2. Q4 overview As we close the third quarter of 2020, a second wave of COVID-19 infections is sweeping across Europe, while the US, Latin America and India remain mired in what is either a second wave or a continuation of the first wave. While progress is being made in adapting economies and putting people back into the workplace, there is substantial uncertainty in how the demand for oil and gas will be impacted in the medium and long term. There is an almost two million barrel per day gap between two reputable forecasts regarding the difference in demand between the end of 2021 and the end of 2019. In contrast, with the exception of the years of the Great Recession, year-over-year changes in actual oil demand have been in a range half that size. Moreover, by the time we return to normal (whatever that means), we may be in the midst of a transition away from hydrocarbons. Oil and gas prices have recovered steadily from their lows and are relatively stable, but that stability is supported by the combination of purposeful withholding of production by oil-producing countries and economic stress on upstream independents. Oil prices closed the quarter roughly where they started it, while refining spreads were down slightly. LNG spreads were substantially higher at the end of Q3 than they were at the beginning of the quarter but are still roughly half of what is generally thought of as sustainable. Going forward, the market will be looking closely at how the economy and demand respond to new developments with respect to a potential COVID-19 vaccine and the US election. Gary Donald EY Global Oil & Gas Assurance Leader gdonald@uk.ey.com Andy Brogan EY Global Oil & Gas Leader abrogan@uk.ey.com Q4 | October 2020 EY Price Point: global oil and gas market outlookPage 2
  • 3. Q4 theme The theme for this quarter is incongruence. Oil and gas prices remained remarkably stable, but they are stable at levels that are fundamentally unsustainable. Demand exceeded supply by a little less than 4 million barrels per day, but that supply shortfall exists in the context of OECD commercial inventories being 185 million barrels higher than they were in February 2020. Historically, oil and gas markets have recovered in concert with the drawdown of stocks, but there is significant risk surrounding how quickly or completely that will happen. Since oil demand bottomed out in April, it has recovered by almost three million barrels per day per month and is expected to recover by an average of one million barrels per day each month for the balance of the year. Our EY analysis indicates that a change of only 20,000 barrels per day in that rate of recovery could accelerate or delay the return to normal inventory levels by almost six months. OPEC members have carried a disproportionate weight of the production cuts necessary to keep storage from overflowing and preventing another market meltdown. Oil prices had hovered at or near the fiscal breakeven for sometime before the COVID-19 crisis, and those estimates assumed “normal” production levels. There is tremendous fiscal pressure on oil exporters to increase output back to normalized levels, and there are already indications of some quota deviations from smaller members. LNG developers continue to struggle with the immediate reality of spreads that are too small to support investments, the expectation of demand growth as a low-carbon bridge, the lack of capital and the potential for missed opportunity. • Can OPEC compliance be sustained in the face of fiscal pressures? • How much and how long will it take cash constraints and cuts in upstream investment to impact supplies? Will those cuts to capacity coincide with a return to normal demand and cause a supply crunch or even a price spike? • What will it take for LNG markets to return to and stabilize at levels that support new investments??Q4 | October 2020 EY Price Point: global oil and gas market outlookPage 3
  • 4. Q4 trends EY Price Point: global oil and gas market outlookPage 4 Q4 | October 2020 Rebalancing of gas and LNG supplies LNG projects have been deferred as prices remain depressed and capital scarce. Slowing growth in supply may accelerate the rebalancing of the market and improve prospects for existing assets. Upstream deals The need to raise cash has led to an increase in assets listed for sale. Valuation will be difficult in this environment, and time will tell how many deals close. Producers anxious to increase output OPEC producers have cut output by 14% since the demand fallout, while North American and international producers have cut output by 10% and 4%, respectively. Revenue considerations may force a rethink of that policy. International oil companies continue to roll out strategies engineered to de-emphasize oil and gas and meet the demand for low-carbon energy. Investor questions about those strategies are increasing. Growing risk to the future of hydrocarbons
  • 5. Market fundamentals Q4 | October 2020 EY Price Point: global oil and gas market outlookPage 5 • Global upstream M&A activity has started to recover and peaked in July, after a US- based IOC acquired a North American independent operator. This is the largest upstream transaction of 2020 and represents over 50% of the US$24 billion announced upstream transactions. The US is the most active M&A market, accounting for over 75% of the 2020 deals. • Continued low commodity prices are driving an increase in the amount of upstream assets listed for sale as companies face financial distress or look to optimize their portfolios. IOCs and other financially strong companies continue to look for opportunities to scale through strategic deals and bolt-on acquisitions. • Although there has been an increase in deal activity, the uncertainty surrounding oil demand, a potential resurgence of COVID-19, the US presidential election and various other factors may adversely impact the ability to close deals. Also, deal closure requires agreement on valuations that are dependent on long-term price views. Although markets are stable in the near term, there is a significant disparity of views about how migration away from hydrocarbons will affect commodity prices in the long run. Global upstream deals on the rise Source: Enverus; EY analysis 0 20 40 60 80 0 5 10 15 January February March April May June July August Numberofdeals Dealvalue Deal value (US$ billion) Deal count • Oil demand continues to recover but at an uncertain and uneven pace. Aviation faces a particularly problematic future in a post-pandemic world. Even with a vaccine, uncertainties about its effectiveness and the public’s potential concern about safety and the risk of vaccine acceptance may make governments reluctant to open the door completely to foreign travelers. In addition, businesses have adapted to new ways of working, and international business travel may be curtailed permanently. • Oil supply is increasing but at measured rates. Total OPEC production has increased by less than two million barrels per day (mmbpd) since it bottomed out in June while demand increased by about 6.5 mmbpd. Since March, OPEC countries have reduced output by 14%, while North American and other international producers have reduced output by 10% and 4%, respectively. • The market continues to eat away at the inventories that accumulated in the early stages of the COVID-19 crisis. Between January and May, stocks accumulated at an average rate of about 8.3 mmbpd. Subsequently, stocks have been drawn at an average rate of 3.3 mmbpd, and stock drawdown is expected to continue at that rate until the end of the year. OPEC leads the way on market balancing Source: US EIA; EY analysis
  • 6. Q4 | October 2020 EY Price Point: global oil and gas market outlookPage 6 Market fundamentals -25% -20% -15% -10% -5% 0% 5% 10% 15% Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun US Canada %changeinBOEproduction(y-o-y) • Declining capex commitments, slow demand recovery and the battered financials of independents are reflected in North American oil and gas production. US shale and Canadian oil sands are substantially impacted by the downturn, and the marginal economics might have lingering effects when the market stabilizes. • The recovery of US shale production might continue to be affected even if oil demand starts to recover as expected in 2021. The significant reduction in capex has led to reduced drilling and completion activities which will limit production growth even when oil prices normalize. In addition, the fiscal constraints caused by the downturn will discourage the rapid addition of rigs, in contrast to the last downturn. • Given the downturn and growing environmental concerns, the future of Canadian oil sands is being questioned. In July 2020, an IOC wrote down the value of its oil sands assets by US$7.1 billion, branding the resource as a “stranded asset.” • The impact of this on global markets is unclear. Pre-COVID-19, the market expected substantial increases in US and Canadian production. As demand recovers, there may be renewed interest or pressure on other supplies. US and Canadian oil production declines Source: US EIA; Canada Energy Regulator • Companies are delaying final investment decisions on LNG projects due to pandemic-driven demand destruction and capital availability. Originally, nearly 100 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of LNG capacity was expected to come online by 2023, but most of that has now been deferred to 2024 and 2025. • With new LNG supplies impacted by the pandemic, it may no longer remain a buyers’ market. Relative to the start of 2020, where it was expected that LNG markets would remain well-supplied through 2025 with proposed projects with 180 to 185 mtpa of capacity in the pipeline, the market may now move back into balance earlier. • The LNG business fundamentals remain very strong. The push to reduce carbon emissions quickly and the relative ease of integrating gas-fired and renewable generation assets into power systems in the near term (compared with battery systems) could boost demand substantially in the near term. If that happens, supplies could tighten, prices may rise and there could be another wave of LNG investments. Source: Globaldata 0 20 40 60 80 100 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 LNG capacity additions (mtpa) Original start-up year Revised start-up year LNG market may rebalance earlier than expected
  • 7. Q4 | October 2020 EY Price Point: global oil and gas market outlookPage 7 Risks resurface for Nord Stream II pipeline Market fundamentals • The COVID-19 pandemic has substantially lowered the demand for gas, resulting in cancellations of LNG cargoes and diversion to Europe, the market of last resort. As of this writing, European gas stocks are nearly 94% full. A reduction in power demand, depressed gas demand and lack of available storage capacity has led to a large number of LNG cargo vessels being used as floating storage. • The Nord Stream II pipeline, connecting Russia to Europe, is facing renewed pressure. The US already imposed sanctions on all project partners earlier this year and new sources of conflict have emerged. The pipeline is slated to come online in 2021 and delays in the construction of the project will likely have muted impact on the regional supply given the state of the markets, but the financial impact of cancellation will certainly be substantial and will clearly influence the political process. • Delay or cancellation could also result in a higher cost of natural gas for European consumers and have implications for Germany’s plans to transition away from coal- fired and nuclear power. • Investor pressure on oil and gas companies to decarbonize is on the rise. The oil market downturn due to the COVID-19 pandemic has provided a tailwind for oil and gas companies’ diversification agendas. • Previous downturns and volatility in the oil and gas market coupled with questions over “peak oil demand” have led companies to reconsider the risks and returns in oil and gas and alternative energy businesses. A recent study by the IEA and Imperial College London shows that hypothetical renewable portfolios in the US and Europe delivered higher returns and lower or comparable volatility than fossil fuel portfolios.1 • A divergence in view is emerging among the European and US oil majors in terms of the future energy outlook and strategies to navigate the energy transition. While the European oil majors have committed to net-zero emissions and are reorganizing to become energy companies in the long run, the US oil majors are doubling down on their core business with a promise to reduce carbon intensity. Growing pressure on oil and gas companies to decarbonize Source: Company reports; EY analysis 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% 0 500 1000 1500 Sep-19 Oct-19 Nov-19 Dec-19 Jan-20 Feb-20 Mar-20 Apr-20 May-20 Jun-20 Jul-20 Aug-20 Sep-20 Europe gas storage capacity vs % occupied Gas in storage (TWh) % Capacity full Note: *Sep-20 data is through 19 Sep 2020. Source: Gas Infrastructure Europe 8% 5% 20% 12% 22% 4% 2% 3% 3% 2% 2Q19 3Q19 4Q19 1Q20 2Q20 Share of analyst questions regarding decarbonization (%) European IOCs North American IOCs 1”Energy Investing: Exploring Risk and Return in the Capital Markets,” IEA and Imperial College Business School, June 2020
  • 8. 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 US$/bbl Historical Brent Brent futures - September 2020 Brent futures - June 2020 Brent futures Q4 | October 2020Page 8 Brent futures have remained materially unchanged since the last quarter, as there has been a gradual increase in demand coupled with production curtailment from OPEC+ members and upstream independents. Although this has created temporary stability in Brent futures, there is still significant uncertainty relating to the sustainability of production cuts and medium- to long-term oil demand. Futures data is effective as of 14 September 2020. Source: Bloomberg EY Price Point: global oil and gas market outlook
  • 9. Q4 | October 2020Page 9 Oil price outlook For both benchmarks, consultants (on average) forecast higher oil prices throughout the forecast period. Consultants focus primarily on the analysis of a long-term sustainable oil price, whereas banks and brokers balance their views on the basis of current market conditions. Consultant ranges include estimates of recognized market consultants. Where consultant estimates are updated only annually (for example, the EIA and the IEA), such estimates are included within the range of estimates from 2022 onward to prevent near-term ranges being impacted by estimates that are not considered to reflect current market dynamics. Brent price estimates derived under the IEA’s “Stated Policies” and “Sustainable Development” scenarios (inflation adjusted to reflect nominal pricing) are reflected within the consultant ranges from 2022 onward. Consultant forecasts result in averages of US$67.2/bbl and US$59.8/bbl for Brent and WTI, respectively, in 2024. This data is effective as of 14 September 2020. EY Price Point: global oil and gas market outlook Note: The wide range of long-term price estimates reflects the degree of uncertainty within the market. Both the lower and upper end of the range provided are supported by the estimates of credible market participants. Given the width of the range, the average of estimates should be used as a starting point for the assessment or generation of estimates. Brent: Average price per bbl forecast in 2024 — consultants Brent Bank/broker and consultant price estimates, ranges and averages WTI Bank/broker and consultant price estimates, ranges and averages Source: Bloomberg; bank/broker reports; consultants’ websites and reports US$67.2 WTI: US$59.8 Average price per bbl forecast in 2024 — consultants 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 US$perbarrel Bank/broker range Consultants range Bank/broker average Consultants average 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 US$perbarrel Bank/broker range Consultants range Bank/broker average Consultants average
  • 10. 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 GBppertherm Bank/broker range Consultant range Bank/broker average Consultant average Q4 | October 2020Page 10 Gas price outlook The forecasts (on average) for consultants, banks and brokers are materially consistent for Henry Hub. Consultants predominantly forecast lower NBP gas prices than banks and brokers. Consultants focus primarily on the analysis of a long-term sustainable gas price, whereas banks and brokers balance their views on the basis of current market conditions. Consultant ranges include estimates of recognized market consultants. Where consultant estimates are updated only annually (for example, the EIA and the IEA), such estimates are included within the range of estimates from 2022 onward to prevent near-term ranges being impacted by estimates that are not considered to reflect current market dynamics. Henry Hub price estimates derived under the IEA’s “Stated Policies” and ”Sustainable Development” scenarios (inflation adjusted to reflect nominal pricing) are reflected within the consultant ranges from 2022 onward. NBP price estimates are scarce, with only six and four forecasts released by banks and brokers and consultants, respectively. This data is effective as of 14 September 2020. EY Price Point: global oil and gas market outlook Note: The wide range of long-term price estimates reflects the degree of uncertainty within the market. Both the lower and upper end of the range provided are supported by the estimates of credible market participants. Given the width of the range, the average of estimates should be used as a starting point for the assessment or generation of estimates. *NBP: National Balancing Point Henry Hub: Average price per MMbtu forecast in 2024 — consultants UK NBP: Average price per therm forecast in 2024 — consultants Henry Hub Bank/broker and consultant price estimates, ranges and averages UK NBP Bank/broker and consultant price estimates, ranges and averages US$3.1 GBp42.8 Source: Bloomberg; bank/broker reports; consultants’ websites and reports. 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0 3.5 4.0 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 US$perMMbtu Bank/broker range Consultant range Bank/broker average Consultant average
  • 11. Appendix Q4 | October 2020 EY Price Point: global oil and gas market outlookPage 11 Brent oil price estimates This data is effective as of 14 September 2020. Source: Bloomberg; bank/broker reports *Certain price estimates included within the summary above may reflect real vs. nominal pricing as the bank/broker assumptions are not explicitly stated within Bloomberg or the respective reports. Source: Consultants’ websites and reports; Oxford Economics Bank/broker 2020 (US$/bbl) 2021 (US$/bbl) 2022 (US$/bbl) 2023 (US$/bbl) 2024 (US$/bbl) High 46.2 59.0 65.0 60.0 60.0 Average 42.2 48.4 53.6 54.9 57.6 Median 42.2 49.0 55.0 55.0 59.9 Low 39.1 32.0 37.4 44.5 52.0 Consultant 2020 (US$/bbl) 2021 (US$/bbl) 2022 (US$/bbl) 2023 (US$/bbl) 2024 (US$/bbl) High 43.9 52.5 80.7 84.1 87.6 Average 42.4 49.3 60.4 64.4 67.2 Median 42.2 49.1 55.5 59.2 61.8 Low 41.4 44.2 51.2 56.5 58.6 Note: Consultant ranges include estimates of recognized market consultants. Where consultant estimates are updated only annually (for example, the EIA and the IEA), such estimates are included within the range of estimates from 2022 onward to prevent near-term ranges being impacted by estimates that are not considered to reflect current market dynamics. Price estimates derived under the IEA’s “Stated Policies” and “Sustainable Development” scenarios (inflation adjusted to reflect nominal pricing) are reflected within the consultant ranges from 2022 onward.
  • 12. Appendix Q4 | October 2020 EY Price Point: global oil and gas market outlookPage 12 WTI oil price estimates This data is effective as of 14 September 2020. Bank/broker 2020 (US$/bbl) 2021 (US$/bbl) 2022 (US$/bbl) 2023 (US$/bbl) 2024 (US$/bbl) High 43.1 56.0 61.2 58.5 60.8 Average 38.8 45.4 50.7 52.1 54.1 Median 38.1 45.0 50.0 51.5 55.0 Low 36.0 35.2 40.4 46.0 47.0 Source: Bloomberg; banks and brokers reports *Certain price estimates included within the summary above may reflect real vs. nominal pricing as the bank/broker assumptions are not explicitly stated within Bloomberg or the respective reports. Consultant 2020 (US$/bbl) 2021 (US$/bbl) 2022 (US$/bbl) 2023 (US$/bbl) 2024 (US$/bbl) High 40.4 49.9 59.6 65.2 75.0 Average 39.1 45.8 52.7 56.9 59.8 Median 39.0 45.9 52.0 55.7 56.8 Low 38.4 40.7 47.5 52.5 54.8 Source: Consultants’ websites and reports; Oxford Economics; EY analysis Note: Consultant ranges include estimates of recognized market consultants. Where consultant estimates are updated only annually (for example, the EIA), such estimates are included within the range of estimates from 2022 onward to prevent near-term ranges being impacted by estimates that are not considered to reflect current market dynamics.
  • 13. Appendix Q4 | October 2020 EY Price Point: global oil and gas market outlookPage 13 Henry Hub gas price estimates This data is effective as of 14 September 2020. Source: Bloomberg; banks and brokers reports * Where brokers have reported figures in US$/mcf, we have used a conversion ratio of 1.037 for mcf conversion to MMBtu. **Certain price estimates included within the summary above may reflect real vs. nominal pricing as the bank/broker assumptions are not explicitly stated within Bloomberg or the respective reports. Source: Consultants’ websites and reports; Oxford Economics Bank/broker 2020 (US$/MMBtu) 2021 (US$/MMBtu) 2022 (US$/MMBtu) 2023 (US$/MMBtu) 2024 (US$/MMBtu) High 2.5 3.4 3.4 3.5 3.5 Average 2.0 2.6 2.6 2.7 2.8 Median 2.0 2.5 2.5 2.6 2.7 Low 1.8 2.1 2.3 2.4 2.4 Consultant 2020 (US$/MMBtu) 2021 (US$/MMBtu) 2022 (US$/MMBtu) 2023 (US$/MMBtu) 2024 (US$/MMBtu) High 2.2 3.2 3.5 3.5 3.6 Average 2.0 2.8 3.0 3.0 3.1 Median 2.0 2.8 2.9 2.9 3.0 Low 1.9 2.6 2.5 2.5 2.6 Note: Consultant ranges include estimates of recognized market consultants. Where consultant estimates are updated only annually (for example, the EIA and the IEA), such estimates are included within the range of estimates from 2022 onward to prevent near-term ranges being impacted by estimates that are not considered to reflect current market dynamics. Price estimates derived under the IEA’s “Stated Policies” and “Sustainable Development” scenarios (inflation adjusted to reflect nominal pricing) are reflected within the consultant ranges from 2022 onward.
  • 14. Appendix Q4 | October 2020 EY Price Point: global oil and gas market outlookPage 14 NBP gas price estimates This data is effective as of 14 September 2020. Bank/broker 2020 (GBp/therm) 2021 (GBp/therm) 2022 (GBp/therm) 2023 (GBp/therm) 2024 (GBp/therm) High 25.0 40.0 50.0 52.0 40.0 Average 21.0 33.5 38.0 41.1 38.1 Median 20.4 32.4 35.5 40.0 38.1 Low 17.0 29.4 31.2 31.3 36.3 Consultant 2020 (GBp/therm) 2021 (GBp/therm) 2022 (GBp/therm) 2023 (GBp/therm) 2024 (GBp/therm) High 22.0 37.5 45.0 47.1 51.3 Average 20.5 31.5 37.6 40.6 42.8 Median 20.5 31.2 38.4 43.1 45.5 Low 19.1 26.2 28.4 29.0 29.0 Source: Bloomberg; banks and brokers reports * Where brokers have reported figures in US$/mcf, we have used a conversion ratio of 1.037 for mcf conversion to MMBtu and the brokers’ forecasted FX rates. **Certain price estimates included within the summary above may reflect real vs. nominal pricing as the bank and broker assumptions are not explicitly stated within Bloomberg or the respective reports. Source: Consultants’ websites and reports; Oxford Economics * Where consultants have reported figures in US$/MMBtu, we have used the particular consultants' forecast FX rate for the purpose of our conversion. Note: Consultant ranges include estimates of recognized market consultants. Where consultant estimates are updated only annually, such estimates are included within the range of estimates from 2022 onward to prevent near-term ranges being impacted by estimates that are not considered to reflect current market dynamics.
  • 15. Key contacts Q4 | October 2020 EY Price Point: global oil and gas market outlookPage 15 Important notice Price outlook data included in this publication is effective as of 14 September 2020. Given the rapidly evolving nature of the market and views of market participants, analysis can quickly become outdated. It should be noted that EY analysis is not for the purpose of providing an independent view of the outlook for oil and gas prices. Instead, we are collating the views of market participants. Price outlook data should not be applied mechanistically. Instead, careful consideration should be given to the purpose of any value assessment, with price forecasts assessed in the context of other key assumptions, such as resources and reserves classification, production rates, discount rates and cost escalation rates, together with an appreciation of the key sensitivities in any such analysis. Jeff Williams EY Global Oil & Gas Consulting Leader +1 713 750 5916 Gary Donald EY Global Oil & Gas Assurance Leader +44 20 7951 7518 Derek Leith EY Global Oil & Gas Tax Leader +44 12 2465 3246 Andy Brogan EY Global Oil & Gas Leader +44 20 7951 7009 John Hartung EY Americas Oil & Gas Strategy & Transactions Leader +1 713 751 2114 Anne Schot EY Global Oil & Gas Strategy and Operations Leader +852 2846 9882
  • 16. EY | Assurance | Tax | Strategy and Transactions | Consulting About EY EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, strategy, transaction and consulting services. The insights and quality services we deliver help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies the world over. We develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our stakeholders. In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, for our clients and for our communities. EY refers to the global organization, and may refer to one or more, of the member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients. Information about how EY collects and uses personal data and a description of the rights individuals have under data protection legislation are available via ey.com/privacy. For more information about our organization, please visit ey.com. How EY’s Global Oil & Gas team can help you As changing demand and pricing volatility transforms the oil and gas industry, companies must reshape to thrive in this new energy world. But how do you balance the immediate cost and regulatory pressures of “now” with investment in what comes “next?” EY’s Global Oil & Gas team brings together the breadth of experience and talent needed to offer a holistic approach to transformation. By considering four key pillars of change — structure and culture, customers, technology, and skills and capabilities — we can help you adapt for today and reap the opportunities of tomorrow. And together we can build a better working world. © 2020 EYGM Limited. All Rights Reserved. EYG no. 006703-20Gbl ED None CSG no. 2009-3581810 This material has been prepared for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be relied upon as legal, accounting, tax or other professional advice. Please refer to your advisors for specific advice. ey.com