Columbia Energy Group barely overcame warmer than normaltemperatures, weak gas prices and higher marketing costs during thefirst quarter to post a 2% increase in earnings. The companyreported first quarter 1999 earnings of $150.4 million, or $1.81per share, up $2.9 million, or four cents per share, from $147.5million or $1.77 per share in the 1998 first quarter. Strongperformances by its regulated transmission, storage anddistribution operations, as well as its propane, power generationand LNG activities were offset by continued difficulties inmarketing and exploration and production.
Articles from Results
Central Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 172, held Wednesday in NewOrleans, garnered nearly $171.62 million in high bids out of$199.64 million in total bids. Of 3,806 blocks offered, 207received bids. There were 272 bids with an average of 1.31 bids perblock and 67 companies participating.
Texaco said its fourth quarter 1998 results will include netspecial charges of about $350 million. “Continuing weak demand andsurplus supplies have driven crude oil, natural gas and refinedproduct prices sharply downward. In this low price environment, wewill be required to revalue inventories. We will also write-downoil and gas properties where remaining investments will not befully recovered,” said Texaco CFO Patrick J. Lynch.
When the going gets tough, the tough turn to gas. That’s oneconclusion that can be drawn from results of Arthur Andersen’s 11thannual U.S. Oil and Gas Industry Outlook Survey. While 70% of the83 companies responding to the survey said they plan to cutexploration spending or hold it at current levels in the comingyear, gas will get a bigger share of the attention. Nearly half ofthe respondents (49%) plan to focus on gas exploration, an increaseof 20% from a year ago. Another 39% of respondents said they willbalance efforts between oil and gas.
The latest lease sale by the Texas General Land office raised$9.2 million Tuesday, down considerably from previous sales of thisspring. The highest bids for tracts were in the bays along thecoast, with the highest single bid from Sabco Oil & Gas Corp.of more than $1.11 million for 320 acres in Corpus Christi Bay. Thesecond highest bidder was Petsec Energy Inc., totaling $275,572 foran 1,135-acre High Island tract off Jefferson County in the Gulf ofMexico. The third highest bidder was Seneca Resources Corp. for a320-acre gulf tract off Brazoria County. The Seneca bid was$236,309.
Tennessee Gas Pipeline has signed precedent agreements for over1 Bcf/d in new deliveries through its Eastern Express Project 2000in New England and its Express 500 Project from the Gulf of Mexico,according to John Somerhalder, pipeline president.