Looking for fear in the oil market? Look no further than the Brent versus West Texas Intermediate oil spread that blew out to the highest level all year and the highest since 2015, with Brent holding a $7.30 per barrel premium currently above WTI. European and Asian buyers of Brent are pricing in the risks and realities of the fallout from sanctions on Iran to increased tensions in the Gaza strip as well as the inability of traditional Brent oil producers to fill that void.
Crude oil prices face a day of reckoning as the United States decides whether it will remain in the Iranian nuclear accord, as well as the realization is that due to underinvestment in oil, it might be difficult to replace Iranian oil if it is taken off the market.
With a market cap of $61 billion, ConocoPhillips ranks as the largest independent U.S. crude oil producer. It announced preliminary 2017 proved reserves of 5.038 billion barrels of oil equivalent after asset sales of 1.904 billion barrels of oil equivalents during the year. Reserves are widely scattered in Alaska, the lower 48 states, Canada, the Asia Pacific Middle East region focused on liquefied natural gas, and in the North Sea and Libya.
Chesapeake Energy Corp. named former ConocoPhillips Chairman Archie Dunham to lead its board as the second-largest U.S. natural-gas producer struggles with falling energy prices and mistrust of its management.
ConocoPhillips will court income- focused investors with a dividend yield quadruple that of its peers after spinning off its refining business this month to become more of a pure oil and natural-gas producer.