Emerging Oil Giants Face Harder Times Than US Oil Giants (XOM, CVX, PBR, PTR, CEO)

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It’s no secret that share prices for big oil are down over the past 12 months. These oil giants have fallen sharply from highs when oil was in the $140’s per barrel.  Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) is off about 18% and Chevron (NYSE:CVX) is off about 25%. They are not doing as bad as emerging market oil giants such as Petro Brasileiro (NYSE:PBR),or Petrobras, nor as poorly as China’s CNOOC Ltd. (NYSE:CEO) and PetroChina (NYSE:PTR).

Petrobras is off nearly 60% from its recent highs,and CNOOC Ltd. and PetroChina are offmore than 50% and 60% from highs, respectively. Both PetroChina and CNOOC sufferfrom retail price caps and high prices for imported crude.

Petrobras, the state oil company of Brazil, has a different problem.The company has benefited from some large discoveries off the coast ofBrazil, but the global economic slowdown is hitting PetroBras especiallyhard. 

The grim economic picture is affecting the Chinese companies as well.China holds an enormous amount of dollar-denominated assets, and theweaker dollar coupled with the higher-valued RMB has pinched China’spurse. The managed economy in China will struggle to balancethe demands of its growing consumer class with the weak global economy.The Chinese oil companies are on the receiving end of the sharp pointof the spear.

Paul Ausick
October 6, 2008