By Josie Cox
FRANKFURT, August 3 (Reuters) - Oil services and renewable
energy companies may reap long-term benefits from BP's ruptured
Gulf of Mexico oil well, boosted by higher safety standards and
cleaner energy, a fund manager told Reuters.
The catastrophe sent many oil-related stocks plummeting, but
Robert Cominotto, who manages Julius Baer's EF Energy Transition
fund, believes several companies may benefit from a future surge
in demand for new, safer equipment and better maintenance.
"In the short-term there will inevitably be a slow-down in
the sector, but in the medium and long term, I believe that some
companies will make a full recovery and perhaps even benefit
from a higher demand for equipment maintenance in the industry,"
Among his holdings are the largest U.S. oilfield equipment
supplier National Oilwell Varco, oilfield services leader
Schlumberger Ltd as well as equipment and services company
Cameron International Corp.
Although shares in Cameron fell more than 23 percent between
the end of April, when the oil leak occurred, and mid-July, they
have regained around 6.5 percent over the last two weeks.
"Cameron produced the blowout preventer which the rig owner
Transocean bought ten years ago to prevent such an oil leak from
occurring," Cominotto said.
He added that he now expected the company to benefit from a
call for more advanced and modern blow-out preventers, and not
be held to blame for the estimated 4.9 million barrels of oil
that flowed into the Gulf before the leak was sealed.
Despite the reputation of the energy sector being tarnished
by the rupture, Cominotto is confident that the opportunities
which the future holds for the industry outshine the risks of an
accident like this happening again.
This is especially the case for renewable stocks.
"The future will see a particularly high demand for clean
energy, especially solar energy, and we see many opportunities
in that," Cominotto said.
Two-thirds of the fund's portfolio is focused on "energy
efficient" companies, added Cominotto, who includes Germany's
Phoenix Solar and SMA Solar and China's U.S.-listed Trina Solar
Ltd among his top holdings.
"In the past, Germany's solar industry has been particularly
dominant, but we now expect the solar industry in Italy, France,
Japan and China to develop strongly," he added.
Due to a more stable world economy, Cominotto also believes
that there will also be more capital available for individual
projects and more state subsidies.
"I believe the oil price will remain high, and I think the
economy will continue its slow but stable recovery," he added.
(Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)