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Energy Summary for Dec. 4, 2017

2017-12-04 20:59 ET - Market Summary

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by Stockwatch Business Reporter

West Texas Intermediate crude for January delivery lost 89 cents to $57.47 on the New York Merc, while Brent for February lost $1.28 to $62.45 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $17.30 to WTI ($40.17), down from a discount of $17.65. Natural gas for January lost eight cents to $2.99. The TSX energy index lost 3.25 points to close at 188.96.

Li Ka-shing's Husky Energy Inc. (HSE) fell 22 cents to $15.41 on 1.82 million shares after releasing its 2018 production and capital expenditure guidance. (Investors who were hoping for Husky to reinstate its dividend would have been disappointed. We will return to this in a moment.) The company's 2018 production guidance is unchanged from this year's range of 320,000 to 335,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day. Husky explains that it is maintaining this target range despite asset sales, totalling 20,000 barrels a day, which are expected to close before year-end. Meanwhile, the 2018 capital budget is $2.94-billion to $3.12-billion, which is higher than this year's estimated capital spending of $2.9-billion, although the increase is not unexpected. In May, when Husky released its five-year plan, it estimated an average capital spending of $3.3-billion a year from 2017 through 2021, as it boosts production to a range of 390,000 to 400,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day by 2021. Much of the capital spending increase in 2018 will finance the ramp-up of thermal oil production in Alberta, as well as construction of the West White Rose light oil project offshore Newfoundland. In Alberta, Husky plans to bring six thermal oil projects to production in the Lloydminster area from 2019 to 2021, with each project expected to produce 10,000 barrels a day. As for West White Rose, Husky estimates that the project will add 52,500 barrels a day to its production starting in 2022. For context, the company's other fields in the White Rose area are expected to produce between 35,000 and 37,000 barrels a day in 2017.

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