Three years after the Macondo well blowout and resulting drilling moratorium, oil and gas exploration has been slowly but surely returning to the Gulf of Mexico (GOM). On Wednesday Royal Dutch Shell plc reported a successful exploratory well at Vicksburg in the deepwater GOM.
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Comstock Resources Inc. announced Monday that it plans to spend about $420 million on exploration and development activities in 2013, with a drilling program focused on its oil-weighted holdings in South and West Texas — in the Eagle Ford Shale and Wolfbone and Wolfcamp formations in the Permian Basin, respectively.
Oil and gas operators continued to report mostly minor damage as a result of Hurricane Isaac, and production in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) was slowly returning to normal Thursday, the Bureau of Safety Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) said.
Oil and gas drilling activity in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) is returning to normal after last week’s visit by Hurricane Isaac, and workers being redeployed to offshore facilities are finding no major storm-related damage, according to the Bureau of Safety Environmental Enforcement (BSEE).
Former Enron Corp. energy trader John Arnold is closing down his flagship Centaurus Energy Master Hedge Fund, which is returning capital to investors. Arnold, a billionaire more than three times over, and his wife Laura will be focusing on philanthropic interests. Houston-based Centaurus has been one of the most successful hedge funds in the industry, delivering a compound annual return of about 130% since it was founded by Arnold in 2002 after the collapse of Enron. In Wall Street circles Arnold has been known to some as the “king of natural gas.” He and his wife will be considered royalty among philanthropists, running a $700 million foundation they founded in 2008. According to Forbes, Arnold has a personal fortune of about $3 billion as of March, putting him at No. 377 on the magazine’s list of billionaires. “In the past ten years, we have achieved more success than I could have hoped for or imagined. However, after 17 years as an energy trader, I feel that it’s time to pursue other interests,” the 38-year-old Arnold wrote to investors in a letter obtained by NGI. A Centaurus representative said there would be no comment on Arnold’s departure from the energy trading scene. A trading star at Enron, Arnold cut a large profile in hedge fund circles after his employer’s collapse. However, since the heady days of high volatility in gas markets, things have calmed quite a bit. An abundance of gas supply, thanks to shale plays, and tighter regulations on commodity speculation have made the trading game less of a thrill for Arnold and his kind. In 2011 the fund was fined $75,000 by the New York Mercantile Exchange for violating position limits in natural gas trading (see NGI, Jan. 2). Arnold founded Centaurus with an $8 million employee bonus from Enron. Centaurus employees have included several big name energy traders such as ex-Enron executive Greg Whalley, as well as Bill Perkins, Mike Magg and Conrad Goerl, previously of MotherRock.
Former Enron Corp. energy trader John Arnold is closing down his flagship Centaurus Energy Master Hedge Fund.
With most areas returning to seasonal or warmer-than-normal temperatures, the decline in heating load was sufficient to cause lower prices at all but three points Thursday. The relatively rare substantive gain of 10.3 cents by February futures a day earlier obviously had little impact in stanching the continued bleeding of cash prices.
There were still a few softening locations in the market Monday, but it was strength all the way Tuesday. Slightly milder temperatures will be returning in parts of the South Wednesday, but they will be offset by cooling trends in the previously unseasonably moderate Northeast.
Consol Energy Corp. is returning to the Utica Shale. The Pittsburgh coal and gas producer recently announced plans to run six rigs starting this fall, five on its acreage in the Marcellus Shale and one full time in the Utica of eastern Ohio.
Prospects of greater heat levels returning this week had prices rebounding at a large majority of trading locations Monday. The previous Friday’s rise of 3.6 cents by prompt-month futures and the return of industrial load from its usual weekend decline were additional minor bullish factors.