According to ONGC’s chairman Arun Singh, lenders may soon be unwilling to finance oil and gas projects since they are considered to be a part of the “sin industry,” ONGC would need to earn enough revenue to support its operations.
Some capital sources in the developed world, including banks and debt & equity funds, have decided not to fund projects with high emissions due to the growing concern over climate change. Although there haven’t been many finance issues for fossil fuel projects or oil businesses in India, the worry has been building. One should be aware that they won’t have access to bank money after three years if they don’t make their own money. According to reports, Singh reminded ONGC staff at a town hall last week that the sector is a sin industry.
ONGC Videsh, the state-run explorer’s foreign branch with 32 projects in 15 countries, is already under fire for its environmental practices. To create income that may be utilised to support its operations, ONGC will need to cut costs, mainly those that are expected to last a long time in the oil sector, according to Singh. Conventional sector’s future does not sound profitable. One cannot afford to expand much in this space. They must develop, earn enough profit, and produce enough.
Climate activists, governments, and investors have pressured oil corporations to decrease their emissions globally. This indicates that the window of prospect for oil corporations to monetise their resources is closing. Singh told staff they would have to harvest subterranean resources more promptly.
Singh faces the problem of heightening the company’s oil and gas output while ensuring that investments are not stranded if demand moves away from fossil fuels.
One more obstacle for ONGC’s petchem operation is a decline in the supply of inexpensive domestic natural gas, a feedstock, due to diversion of supply by the government to other sectors of the economy. This entails a tremendous dependence on pricey imported gas.
Why are investors so worried about investing in oil and gas companies?
Some perils influence certain sectors.
The major way that politics may impact oil is via law. However, it is not the sole approach. Typically, an oil and gas business is subject to a slew of rules that govern where, when, and how extraction is carried out. This interpretation of laws and regulations may even vary by state. However, political risk often increases when oil and gas corporations operate on reserves in other countries.
Oil and gas corporations favour countries with stable political systems and a track record of awarding and enforcing long-term leases. On the other hand, some corporations just go where the oil and gas are, even if the country doesn’t rigidly fit their desires. Various challenges may occur due to this, including unexpected nationalisation and/or shifting political breezes that alter the regulatory environment. The agreement a business starts with is not necessarily the one it ends up with, depending on which country the oil is taken from. The government may alter its mind after spending capital to generate more profit.
Political risk can be blatant (in countries with an unstable government and a history of rapid nationalisation) or subtle (in countries that tweak foreign ownership restrictions to ensure indigenous corporations have an interest). Careful research and long-term partnerships with international oil and gas associates are crucial steps a firm may take to mitigate this risk if it wants to be in business in the long run.
Many of the easy-to-get oil and gas reserves have either been emptied or are in the process of draining out. Exploration has gone to drilling in less-than-ideal conditions, including on a platform in the middle of an undulating ocean. Unconventional oil and gas extraction techniques have allowed the exploitation of resources in locations where it would have been impossible otherwise.
Geological risk relates to extraction complications and the possibility that accessible reserves in deposit will be less than predicted. Oil and gas geologists work hard to surge down geological risks by testing often. Thus estimates are rarely significantly off. To emphasise the degree of confidence in the findings, they employ the phrases “proven,” “probable,” and “possible” before reserve estimations.
Oil and gas prices are crucial in determining whether a deposit is commercially viable. Essentially, the higher the geological obstacles to straightforward extraction, the greater the price risk for a specific project. Unconventional extraction is generally more expensive than a vertical drill down to a deposit.
This does not imply that oil and gas corporations would immediately halt operations on a project that has become unprofitable owing to a price drop. These projects are frequently unable to be immediately shut off and restarted. Instead, to decide whether to start a project, O&G businesses seek to anticipate the expected pricing during the project. Price risk is an unavoidable companion once a project has begun.
Risks of Supply and Demand.
Supply and demand shocks pose a significant risk to oil and gas enterprises. As previously said, businesses need significant cost and time to establish, and they are difficult to shut down when prices fall or ramp up when prices rise. The unequal output pattern contributes to the volatility of oil and gas prices. Other economic variables, such as financial crises and macroeconomic issues, might dry up capital or negatively damage the business in addition to the regular pricing hazards.
All of the above hazards contribute to their significance: operating expenses. The more stringent the regulations and the more complicated the drill, the more expensive the project. When you combine this with the uncertainty of global manufacturing, which is outside the control of a single corporation, you have some severe cost concerns.
However, many oil and gas businesses struggle to find and maintain quality staff during boom times, so payroll can quickly grow, computing additional expenses to the whole image. As a result of these expenditures, oil and gas have become an enormously business of capital-intensive nature with fewer participants all the time.
The country is already facing a winter funding freeze. And in such times, this news can cause tension for oil and gas companies.