European oil major’s BP, Eni and Shell are outperforming their peers amid a wave of new project approvals in the recent downturn, analysts have said.
Rystad Energy said the trio had approved $64 billion worth of greenfield projects since 2015.
BP alone approved more than $27.6bn worth of projects in that time.
Collectively, majors have achieved greenfield costs of $13.50 per barrel of oil equivalent for projects that have started up since 2014, while lifting costs have been $8.80 from 2017.
Matthew Fitzsimmons, vice president at Rystad Energy, said the performance of BP, Eni and Shell should be particularly heartening for investors.
He said: “BP’s $6 billion investment in the Khazzan Phase 1 and Makarem projects in Oman highlighted their execution excellence by achieving greenfield costs below $5 per barrel of oil equivalent.
“BP’s best-in-class lifting costs from 2017 of below $6 per producing barrel should give investors confidence when all these new projects come on-line.
“Eni’s recent $25.4 billion greenfield approvals have exclusively been to bolster its offshore portfolio. The company’s investments in several mega offshore projects, such as Coral FLNG, Sankofa East FPSO and three phases of Zohr, are good news in relation to the offshore industry’s attempt to rebound.”
Despite starting-up nearly $75 billion worth of project investments, ExxonMobil’s greenfield performance on the PNG LNG Phase 1 and lifting cost performance on Kearl Phase 2 have deteriorated their overall marks to trail industry averages.
Mr Fitzsimmons said: “We’ve noticed that ExxonMobil’s greenfield investments have been virtually non-existent since 2014.
“Their only major greenfield project approval since 2015 was the $4.4 billion Liza Phase 1 FPSO project in Guyana.”
But the outlook is not all glum for the world’s largest IOC.
Mr Fitzsimmons added: “We’ve also noticed that ExxonMobil has improved its greenfield cost performance since 2014 as it gears up to take on the challenge put forth by the company CEO to double earnings by 2025.”