Baker Hughes acquires 5% of UAE’s ADNOC Drilling for $550 million

The deal will enable ADNOC Drilling to gain access to the know-how and technical expertise of a global player. (Shutterstock)
Updated 09 October 2018
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Baker Hughes acquires 5% of UAE’s ADNOC Drilling for $550 million

ABU DHABI/LONDON: Baker Hughes, the world’s second-largest oil services company, will take a 5 percent stake in Abu Dhabi National Oil Company’s (ADNOC) drilling unit for $550 million under a tie-up announced on Monday.
Baker Hughes (BHGE) becomes the first foreign company to take a stake in one of state-owned ADNOC’s services companies under the agreement which values ADNOC Drilling at about $11 billion.
It will allow Baker Hughes to cement its presence in the Middle East, the fastest growing region for oil and gas operations, and enable ADNOC Drilling to gain access to the know-how and technical expertise of a global player.
Since its acquisition by General Electric Co. last year, Baker Hughes has sought new business models following a sharp decline in global drilling activity since 2014. That includes offering a suite of services to oil and gas producers from exploration to drilling.
“To us this is not just another partnership... this will allow ADNOC Drilling to be not only a local player but a global specialist in the drilling and oil service business,” ADNOC’s Chief Executive Sultan Al-Jaber told Reuters in an interview in Abu Dhabi.
It would help make ADNOC Drilling “the most efficient and the most competitive,” Al-Jaber said.
Baker Hughes’ CEO Lorenzo Simonelli said BHGE will have a representative on the board of ADNOC Drilling and will create a dedicated training team.
The partnership will offer drilling services in the UAE and possibly abroad as well, Al-Jaber said.
The transaction is expected to close before the end of this year, with operations starting in 2019, ADNOC and BHGE said in a joint statement.
Al-Jaber said “there are no plans at this point of time” to float a stake in ADNOC Drilling.
While analysts said the deal would bode well for Baker Hughes’ long-term prospects in the United Arab Emirates, some lamented that the firm was paying too high a price in its acquisition.
“We’re just not fans of OFS (oilfield service) companies having to ante up” to tap into revenue growth, analysts for investment firm Tudor Pickering Holt & Co. wrote in a note on Monday.
Shares of Baker Hughes were down roughly 1 percent at midday on Monday, trading around $31.65.
Moelis is acting as the financial adviser to ADNOC on the transaction, while Citi is the adviser to BHGE, the two companies said in the statement.


Asia’s refining profits slump as Mideast exports surge

Updated 23 February 2019
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Asia’s refining profits slump as Mideast exports surge

  • Since 2006, the Asia-Pacific has been the world’s biggest oil-consuming region, led by industrial users South Korea and Japan along with rising powerhouses China and India
  • However, overbuilding of refineries and sluggish demand growth have caused a jump in fuel exports from these demand hubs

SINGAPORE: Asia’s biggest oil consumers are flooding the region with fuel as refining output is exceeding consumption amid a slowdown in demand growth, pressuring industry profits.
Since 2006, the Asia-Pacific has been the world’s biggest oil-consuming region, led by industrial users South Korea and Japan along with rising powerhouses China and India.
Yet overbuilding of refineries and sluggish demand growth have caused a jump in fuel exports from these demand hubs.
Compounding the supply overhang, fuel exports from the Middle East, which BP data shows added more than 1 million barrels per day (bpd) of refining capacity from 2013 to 2017, have doubled since 2014 to around 55 million tons, according to Refinitiv.
Car sales in China, the world’s second-biggest oil user, fell for the first time on record last year, and early 2019 sales also remain weak, suggesting a slowdown in gasoline demand.
For diesel, China National Petroleum Corp. in January said that it expected demand to fall by 1.1 percent in 2019. That would be China’s first annual demand decline for a major fuel since its industrial ascent started in 1990.
The surge in fuel exports combined with a 25 percent jump in crude oil prices so far this year has collapsed Singapore refinery margins, the Asian benchmark, from more than $11 per barrel in mid-2017 to just over $2.
Combine the slumping margins with labor costs and taxes and many Asian refineries now struggle to make money.
The squeezed margins have pummelled the stocks of most major Asian petroleum companies, such as Japan’s refiners JXTG Holdings Inc. or Idemitsu Kosan, South Korea’s top oil processor SK Innovation, Asia’s top oil refiner China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. and Indian Oil Corp., with some companies dropping by about 40 percent over the past year. Jeff Brown, president of energy consultancy FGE, said the surge in exports and resulting oversupply were a “big problem” for the industry.
“The pressure on refinery margins is a case of death by a thousand cuts ... Refinery upgrades throughout the region are bumping up against softening demand growth,” he said.
The profit slump follows a surge in fuel exports from China, India, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. Refinitiv shipping data shows fuel exports from those countries have risen threefold since 2014, to a record of around 15 million tons in January.
The biggest jump in exports has come from China, where refiners are selling off record amounts of excess fuel into Asia.
“There is a risk for Asian market turmoil if (China’s fuel) export capacity remains at the current level or grows further,” said Noriaki Sakai, chief executive officer at Idemitsu Kosan during a news conference last week.
But Japanese and South Korean fuel exports have also risen as demand at home falls amid mature industry and a shrinking population. Japan’s 2019 oil demand will drop by 0.1 percent from 2018, while South Korea’s will remain flat, according to forecasts from Energy Aspects.
In Japan, oil imports have been falling steadily for years, yet its refiners produce more fuel than its industry can absorb. The situation is similar in South Korea, the world’s fifth-biggest refiner by capacity, according to data from BP.
Cho Sang-bum, an official at the Korea Petroleum Association, which represents South Korean refiners, said the surging exports had “triggered a gasoline glut.”
That glut caused negative gasoline margins in January.