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Where National Oilwell Varco Is Looking to Grow

By Motley Fool Staff - Apr 23, 2016 at 10:05AM

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The oil company is sinking cash into one type of project, though investors might not see returns from it for a while.

National Oilwell Varco (NOV 0.18%) made headlines last week for cutting its dividend.

In this segment from the Industry Focus: Energy podcast, Tyler Crowe and Taylor Muckerman talk about why the company is investing in long-term floating production and offshore projects, and where shareholders should look for cash coming to the company in the short term.

A full transcript follows the video.

This podcast was recorded on April 14, 2016.

Tyler Crowe: There's one place they have been pouring a lot of money into as of late. When I talked with [National Oilwell Varco CEO] Clay Williams last, like, six months ago, one of the places they're really putting money into is floating production and offloading facilities, which are basically like -- take a supertanker and float it out in the middle of the ocean, it's just going to float there and collect oil, and then tankers come and basically load it off there. So, these facilities are much more economical than some of the other things that they have been using for a very long time. They're more mobile, so they can be reused, versus stationary infrastructure.

But, rigs, 20 years ago, they're not a very standardized, industrialized process. They're all kind of ad hoc, put-together. National Oilwell Varco wants to take that standardization process that they used in rigs into this market, and that could be a huge boon for them. That could help tide things over, because those projects -- FPSOs is what they're called -- those are still going to market now, because they were investment decisions that were made years ago, and still need to be moved along. So, if there's anything that'll help them in the interim, that is one place I think investors should take a look at.

Taylor Muckerman: Sure. And they're not the only ones who have waited this long to cut their dividend. You said BP is considering it as well?

Crowe: BP is considering it.

Muckerman: Not yet. They haven't done it yet.

Crowe: They haven't done anything, but there were some hints from their chairman, who said, look, we might have to. We're not saying we're going to, we want to preserve it as best we can, which is what every company executive is going to say. But, in the event that we have to, we will.

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