FERC’s doors were closed for a second day in a row Thursday due to a power outage that has affected the North Capitol Street corridor in Washington, DC, where the agency’s headquarters is located.
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Expiring June natural gas futures closed lower Thursday as market bulls were hit by a government inventory report showing a build in inventories above what they were looking for. At the close June had settled 5.3 cents lower at $4.326 and July futures were down 6.3 cents to $4.360. July crude oil fell $1.09 to $100.23/bbl.
In a surprising shift in policy, President Obama announced that his administration plans to open previously closed areas in Alaska, off the Atlantic Coast and in new areas of the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) to oil and natural gas drilling, at the same time extending some current leases. The Senate, however, law week shot down a proposal to open up more of the offshore to oil and gas drilling. It also voted against repeal of oil and gas taxes for the five biggest producers.
In a surprising shift in policy, President Obama announced over the weekend that his administration plans to open previously closed areas in Alaska, off the Atlantic Coast and in new areas of the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) to oil and natural gas drilling, at the same time extending some current leases. Obama said he nevertheless supports a Senate bill to cut billions of dollars of subsidies for producers.
April natural gas futures managed to hold on to Thursday’s gains and closed slightly higher Friday, although traders are still thinking prices will eventually head back down to the mid $3 area. By the close of trading April futures had risen 1.0 cent to $4.168 and May had gained 1.2 cents to $4.246. April crude oil shed 35 cents to $101.07/bbl.
Recovery Energy Inc. announced Monday that it has closed on a $12.3 million cash-and-stock deal to acquire oil and gas leases on 8,060 net acres from Houston-based Wapiti Oil & Gas LLC. The leasehold is located primarily northwest of the prolific Silo field in Laramie County, WY. The Wapiti sale follows Denver-based Recovery’s acquisition last month of approximately 1,700 acres in Weld County, CO and about 6,600 net acres in Goshen County, WY from various private individuals for $1.9 million in cash and stock. The combined acquisitions bring Recovery’s holdings in the Denver-Julesburg Basin to 148,000 gross acres (134,000 net acres).
February natural gas futures closed higher in a session described as “book-squaring” with traders focused on spread trading with little in the way of any fundamental developments. At the close February posted an advance of 4.1 cents to $4.736 and March added 5.1 cents to $4.743. March crude oil fell 48 cents to $89.11/bbl.
Chief Gathering LLC, a subsidiary of Chief Oil & Gas, has been fined $34,000 and has agreed to surrender a discharge permit for operations in four counties in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale area after “illegally discharging hydrostatic testing water at a pipeline project” in Lycoming County, PA, the state’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) said.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) last Thursday closed out its final meeting of the year by putting off consideration of the most controversial of its proposed regulatory reforms — setting limits on the amount of speculative trading of derivative swaps by a single entity — and making it highly unlikely that the agency will meet the congressionally mandated deadline for imposing position limits.
Chesapeake Energy Corp. and China’s CNOOC Ltd. have closed their deal for CNOOC International Ltd. to buy a one-third undivided interest in Chesapeake’s 600,000 net oil and natural gas leasehold acres in the Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas, the parties said Tuesday. The price was $1.08 billion in cash plus a $40 million adjustment at closing. CNOOC Ltd. has agreed to fund 75% of Chesapeake’s share of drilling and completion costs up to $1.08 billion, which Chesapeake expects to occur by year-end 2012. The transaction represents Chesapeake’s fifth such deal in the shale patch. It was announced last month (see Shale Daily, Oct. 12).