At the Cooper Energy annual general meeting board members asserted they were conscious of environmental impacts, however they were unable to give specific details about their plans as they weren’t yet formulated. Managing Director, David Maxwell, also announced a drastic change in the company’s asset portfolio from 100% crude oil reserves to 85% gas and 15% oil reserves.
Poor financial performance
Cooper Energy’s financial performance has been rather disastrous in the last three years. The company changed from gaining a profit of $22 million in 2014 to posting losses of $63.5 million in 2015, losses of $34.8 million in 2016 and losses of $12.3 million in 2017. The value of the company’s assets are of lower value than what was expected due to changes in oil prices. This is a clear risk to shareholder wealth and one which Cooper Energy acknowledges by stating that “…future value, growth and financial condition are dependent upon the prevailing prices for oil and gas”. Cooper Energy may find itself in worsening financial conditions in the near future as government agencies and major international banks including JP Morgan (who is also Cooper Energy’s largest shareholder) are now predicting lower than expected oil prices for 2018.
It is also surprising then that when asked by shareholders about the Taskforce for Climate related Financial Disclosures chairman John Conde would not provide a concrete response, stating that plans with regards to climate change would come in due course but were not formulated yet.
No mention of reducing greenhouse gas emissions
The company made no mention of reducing its greenhouse gas emission or transitioning its operations to be in line with keeping global temperatures to below two degree Celsius. In 2017, the company’s production grew by 109% for the year and is expected to grow five times by 2020 from projects currently in the pipeline. The major project which will contribute to this increase will be a $355 million development of the Sole gas field in the Gippsland Basin, which is underwritten by ANZ. ANZ is currently the biggest financier of fossil fuels in Australia.
If you’re worried about banks putting your future at risk by funding fossil fuel projects, tell ANZ to stop financing projects like the Sole Project. Take Action by putting your bank on notice.