An appeals court in Ohio upheld a local court’s ruling that an operator is not required to fully develop leased property, and disagreed with a landowner’s demand that the undeveloped portion be surrendered and subsequently leased to other oil and gas companies.
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No. 3 oilfield services provider Baker Hughes Inc. on Friday reported a 30% drop in first quarter profits, stung by weak North American drilling, its biggest market. Schlumberger Ltd., the world’s largest oilfield services operator, also reported a drop in quarterly profits on declines in North America, and management said the outlook for the United States and Canada this year remains uncertain.
Devon Energy Corp. is selling Tuscaloosa Marine Shale (TMS) assets in Louisiana and Mississippi, offering about 297,000 net acres (nearly 95% undeveloped) within the unconventional oil play, and production of about 600 b/d, according to the offering by Scotia Waterous (USA) Inc.
When the Senate reconvenes this week following a month-long recess, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) said she plans to introduce legislation that will require auditors to maintain financial independence from their clients. The bill, prompted by questions about Enron Corp.’s close ties to outside auditor Arthur Andersen LLP, specifically would bar accounting firms from providing management consulting services to the companies that they audit.
Unocal said last week that its expected earnings be aboutbetween 90-95 cents per share, or about 20-25 cents more than itsprior estimates and 11 cents more than First Call/ThomsonFinancial’s consensus estimate of 79 cents. The updated earningsestimate can be attributed to rising natural gas and oil prices,the company said. The new estimate took into account the expectedaverage price for West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil of $31.60per barrel and a Henry Hub natural gas price of $4.35 per Mcf. TheJuly 27 forecast was based on a WTI price of $29.75 per barrel anda Henry Hub price of $4.00 per Mcf. Unocal said the latest estimatedoes not include “miscellaneous special items,” such as an expected$36 million aftertax charge for what it called a derivativesaccrual. Last year Unocal posted earnings of 17 cents per share forthe third quarter.
Two weeks after Perry Gas filed for bankruptcy and sued its retailclient billing provider, PowerTrust.com, the marketer confirmed it hasdropped the lawsuit and is selling its residential energy marketingunits to that same provider (see Daily GPI, Aug. 31).
Two weeks after Perry Gas filed for bankruptcy and sued its retail client billing provider, PowerTrust.com, the marketer confirmed it has dropped the lawsuit and is selling its residential energy marketing units to that same provider (see NGI, Sept. 4).
UtiliCorp United and Andersen Consulting are engaged in a legalbattle over fees for work Andersen did for UtiliCorp that theclient says spiraled to more than twice the amount agreed upon.Most recently, UtiliCorp filed a $10 million suit in a Missouricourt charging Andersen with negligence and failure to live up toterms of a 1996 contract for administrative software and systems.The suit is a response to a complaint filed in March by Andersenseeking payment of fees UtiliCorp had withheld.