Investors to watch for Tullow Oil guidance on capital spend in trading statement

Company has said 2015 exploration spend would be significantly reduced

Tullow Oil chief executive Aidan Heavey: “In light of current oil and gas sector challenges including the commodity price environment, we are reviewing our capital expenditure and our cost base.” Photograph: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

Tullow Oil chief executive Aidan Heavey: “In light of current oil and gas sector challenges including the commodity price environment, we are reviewing our capital expenditure and our cost base.” Photograph: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

 

Investors will be watching Tullow Oil with interest this week to see how it intends to tackle challenges in the oil and gas space.

The Irish-based exploration company is due to issue a trading statement and operational update on Thursday, and the market is expecting to get a steer on Tullow’s capital spending review as well possible write-downs for the year.

In Tullow’s interim management statement (IMS) in November, chief executive Aidan Heavey said that in 2015 the company’s overall exploration spend would be significantly reduced.

“In light of current oil and gas sector challenges including the commodity price environment, we are reviewing our capital expenditure and our cost base to ensure that Tullow is well positioned for future success,” he said.

Davy analyst Caren Crowley said investors will be “looking for a guide on capex [capital expenditure] in 2015”.

In the November IMS the company gave preliminary capex guidance of just over $2 billion for the full year, but conditions have changed dramatically since then, with commodity prices sliding, (oil was still trading close to $80 a barrel around the time of the last update but is now nearer $50), so the company may have reassessed this.

“The floor is moving a lot for them,” said Crowley.

Tullow has previously flagged possible write-downs of assets, and presumably will be able to provide a more concrete update on potential revaluations. The company may also discuss cash in from operations, and how production is shaping up for this year.

Traders will also be interested to see if the business has anything more to say on the divestments front.

“For a long time they’ve talked about divesting assets and had made some headway there but there is still a lot of ground to cover,” Crowley said.

Tullow’s full-year results are due to be announced on February 11th.