Devon Energy Corp. agreed to sell its producing Panyu field offshore China to China National Offshore Oil Corp. for $515 million ($370 million after tax). Since Devon announced in late 2009 that it would reposition itself as a North American onshore producer, it has sold almost $10 billion ($7.9 billion after tax) Gulf of Mexico and international assets, exceeding its initial expectations of $4.5-7.5 billion (see NGI, Nov. 23, 2009). Still to be sold are assets in China and Angola; all of the sales are expected to be completed by year's end.

Oilfied services firms Baker Hughes Inc. and BJ Services Co. said they have reached a final agreement with the Department of Justice's antitrust division on their proposed merger. The settlement requires the companies to divest assets before closing can occur, and must be approved by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (see NGI, April 5). Absent the divestitures, the merger would combine two of only four existing companies that provide specialized pumping services, known as stimulation services, giving the united Baker Hughes-BJ Services company dominance in the market and the ability to influence prices. First announced in late August 2009 (see NGI, Sept. 7, 2009), the deal -- which is valued at about $7 billion -- would move the combined company to the No. 3 spot in market value for oilfield services behind leaders Schlumberger Ltd. and Halliburton Co. National Oilwell Varco Inc. is currently the No. 3 oilfield services provider.

A 30% decline in quarterly profits was within Dominion's expectations and growth opportunities are within sight, according to the Richmond, VA-based company, which affirmed its 2010 operating earnings guidance range of $3.20-3.40/share. Dominion expects to continue to advance its goal of becoming a more regulated company -- and one less sensitive to commodity prices, CEO Thomas F. Farrell II said during a conference call with analysts Thursday. Dominion saw its earnings slip in 1Q2010, posting unaudited earnings of $174 million (29 cents/share) a 30% decline compared with $248 million (42 cents) for the same period in 2009. Operating earnings, which Dominion uses as its primary performance measurement, amounted to $576 million (96 cents/share) compared with operating earnings of $574 million (98 cents) for the same period in 2009.

Honda dealers in Oklahoma are now able to sell the compressed natural gas (CNG)-powered Honda Civic GX to customers on a retail basis, American Honda Motor Co. Inc. said. There are 13 Honda dealers in Oklahoma, three of which have been selling the Civic GX as a fleet vehicle. In 2006 the Civic GX became available for the first time to retail customers in California. Since then, retail sales have expanded to New York, Utah and now Oklahoma. Currently, 43 dealers in California, 19 in New York and eight in Utah have added retail addendums to their Honda sales agreements. When including dealerships that sell fleet vehicles, there are 134 Civic GX dealers in 33 states.

MDU Resources' Boise, ID-based Intermountain Gas Corp. has asked state regulators to clarify their jurisdiction regarding the sale of natural gas supplies to third-party nonutility resellers. Intermountain wants assurances that the Idaho Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has no jurisdiction over sales to nonutility gas retailers and would not consider the gas utility in violation of state law if it sold supplies to third parties, a PUC spokesperson said. The specific issue is Intermountain selling to third parties that in turn will sell compressed natural gas (CNG) to vehicle fleets. Intermountain wants to sell supplies to resellers using its existing tariffs, and there are liability, as well as jurisdictional, concerns that Intermountain has raised in its filing.

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