GE Oil & Gas has signed an $84 million agreement with the exploration and production arm of Mexico's Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) to provide and install subsea high-capacity wellheads for deepwater and ultra-deepwater drilling projects in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM). The GOM is estimated to hold more than half of Mexico's prospective energy resources, but it needs advanced technology to tap the oil and gas, according to GE. The high-technology subsea wellheads would provide a larger load, pressure capacity and a full-bore design, helping drillers reach greater depths. Pemex is to receive SMS800 and DWHC 700 wellheads, similar technology that GE already has installed at several Mexican oilfields including Perdido, Lakach and Kunah.

Western Canadian operator Penn West Petroleum Ltd. has hired a new CEO and is reducing overall staff by about 200, or 10% of the workforce. CEO and President Murray Nunns, who has run the former energy trust for the past eight years, resigned from his position, said Chairman Rick George, who took over in early May. George retired as CEO of oilsands giant Suncor. Former Marathon Oil Corp. executive David Roberts is to take over as CEO and president on June 19. Penn West's dividend also has reduced to C14 cents/share from C27 cents. "We will be looking for a huge step change in both where capital is spent as well as the efficiency of each dollar invested," George said.

The first of a several compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling stations has opened in Newark, NJ, as part of a nationwide partnership forged between Clean Energy Fuels Corp. and Covanta Energy Corp. The two companies plan to establish CNG fueling infrastructure nationwide. Clean Energy is to build and operate the stations, which would use Covanta's energy-from-waste process that recycles municipal solid waste into renewable energy to generate power supplies. Newark is switching all its garbage trucks and street sweeper fleets to CNG.

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