The U.S. government and private energy analysts appear to have come to a foregone conclusion that the domestic natural gas drilling rig count will take a dive in 2013, but if any are “blindly assuming” that the U.S. oil rig count will “continue to move up and to the right,” they may be wrong, said the team at Raymond James & Associates Inc.
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Baker Hughes Inc.’s management team reported Monday that the purchase of pressure pumping specialist BJ Services Inc. already is paying off, helping to boost quarterly profits both year/year and sequentially, with most of the uptick coming from work in North America’s unconventional basins.
Preliminary damage assessments from Hurricane Ivan continued to grow on Tuesday, while it also became apparent that some shut-in Gulf of Mexico production could remain off the market for an extended period.
Cash numbers continued to rise at all points Wednesday, but the size of the increases was considerably less than on the day before. Small to sizeable retreats in the Midwest and South from heat levels that had been rising earlier in the week were cited as the key factor in slowing down the post-holiday rally.
Moderate softness at some points in the Midwest and West was mixed into an overall market Wednesday that was flat to a little more than a dime higher. Rainstorms in much of the East were helping to dampen hotter weather that had been increasing power generation load earlier in the week, and cooler temperatures were moving southward into the Rockies, relieving some of the cooling load in that region as well.
With flat to mildly higher quotes at a few points in the West amid the overall mix, most of the cash market registered declines ranging from about a nickel to 15 cents Tuesday.
Pressured by the combination of mild weather forecasts and bearish storage news expected Thursday, the natural gas futures market continued its downward spiral Tuesday by recording another gap-lower open and a new five-week low.
Prices managed to sustain this week’s near-solid upward price movement Thursday, but there were hints that the bullish streak may be coming to an end. New upticks ranged from about a nickel to a quarter, but were mostly moderate at around a dime or less.
Prices were still moving higher in most cases Tuesday, but generally at a slower pace than on the day before. Markets as disparate as citygates in Florida and the Northeast, San Juan Basin and the Pacific Northwest/Western Canada were still seeing double-digit gains of up to about a quarter, with Algonquin citygates averaging a little more than $5. But a majority of points ranged from flat to up about a dime, with gains of a nickel or less prevalent.
Special charges related to discontinuing exploration in Pakistan and on Block 19 offshore Angola ($76 million), along with the cost of repurchasing higher-cost debt ($7.6 million) resulted in a third quarter net loss of $0.9 million or $0.01/share for Ocean Energy compared to net income of $48 million or $0.27/share in 3Q2001. Without the impact of special items, the company reported net income of $56 million or $0.31/share.