Houston-based Carrizo Oil & Gas Inc. turned in first quarter results that included record production and revenue driven by record oil results.
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Former Enron Corp. CEO Jeffrey Skilling, 59, has reached agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice that could allow him to be free as soon as 2017, according to a court filing. Under the agreement, Skilling is waiving his rights to any further appeals and would allow more than $40 million of his forfeited assets to be distributed to victims of Enron’s colossal collapse in 2001. Skilling was convicted in 2006 by a Houston jury on 19 criminal counts and originally was sentenced to federal prison for 24 years and four months (see NGI, May 29, 2006). The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans twice said the sentence had been miscalculated by the district court (see NGI, April 11, 2011). “The proposed agreement brings certainty and finality to a long painful process,” said Skilling lawyer Daniel M. Petrocelli. “Although the recommended sentence for Jeff would still be more than double any other Enron defendant, all of whom have long been out of prison, Jeff will at least have the chance to get back a meaningful part of his life.”
Legislation to extend tax credits that support the conversion of conventional vehicles to run on cleaner fuels, such as natural gas, is awaiting the signature of Oklahoma’s governor after passage by the state House. The incentive, which covers about half the cost of converting a typical vehicle and three-quarters of the cost of establishing an alternative fueling station, will be extended until 2020. The incentives are expected to cost the state — a major natural gas producer — $1.5-2 million per year.
Progress Energy Canada Ltd., Pacific NorthWest LNG Ltd. and Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) have closed the previously announced transaction that saw Japex Montney Ltd., the Canadian subsidiary of Japan Petroleum Exploration Co. Ltd., acquire a 10% interest in Progress Energy Canada’s natural gas assets in northeast British Columbia (BC), and in the proposed Pacific NorthWest LNG export facility on Canada’s West Coast near Prince Rupert, BC. Japex has agreed to buy a 10% share of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility’s production for a minimum of 20 years for domestic use in Japan (see Daily GPI, March 5). “This Japex investment in upstream natural gas resources in British Columbia and the downstream LNG facility further solidifies the North Montney as a world-class natural gas asset, and it clearly defines British Columbia and Canada as attractive and competitive destinations for global investment,” said Progress Energy Canada CEO Michael Culbert.
HollyFrontier Corp. and Holly Energy Partners LP are collaborating to construct a rail facility that will enable crude oil loading and unloading near HollyFrontier’s Artesia and/or Lovington, NM, refining facilities. The rail project, which will be connected to Holly Energy’s crude oil pipeline system in southeastern New Mexico, will have an initial capacity of up to 70,000 b/d and will enable access to a variety of crude oil types including West Texas Intermediate, West Texas Sour and Western Canadian Select. The project will provide additional crude oil takeaway options for producers as crude production in the region continues to grow, and an expanded set of crude oil sourcing options for HollyFrontier. Completion is expected by early 2014.
Chesapeake Markets 94,000-Acre Utica Package
Chesapeake Energy Corp. has carved out a 94,000-acre tract in Ohio’s Stark and Portage counties to sell, land that represents roughly one-tenth of its leasehold in the Utica/Point Pleasant Shale.
Japan’s Mitsui Corp. has been selected to construct a pipeline that would carry U.S. natural gas to Mexico from Tucson, AZ, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto announced in Japan while on a tour of Asian countries. The $460 million Tucson-Sasabe pipeline would have capacity of 770 MMcf/d and would join several other pipeline projects to move U.S. gas to Mexico (see Daily GPI, March 8). Mexico is seeking inexpensive U.S. shale gas to fuel power generation and supply industrial users. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Mexico imported more U.S. gas than ever last year (see Daily GPI, March 14), and according to an analysis by Goldman Sachs, U.S. gas imports by Mexico will continue to increase (see Daily GPI, Feb. 11).
API Official Taking Helm of ANGA on May 1
America’s Natural Gas Alliance (ANGA) Wednesday announced that Martin J. Durbin, a top lobbyist at the American Petroleum Institute (API), has been named president and CEO, effective May 1. Durbin comes to ANGA after serving as executive vice president at API, where he led advocacy efforts on behalf of the oil and gas industry.
PA DEP Chief Krancer Quits; Interim Replacement Criticized
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett announced Friday that Michael Krancer, secretary of the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), will step down on April 15 and return to practice law in Philadelphia. But the decision to replace him on an interim basis with the governor’s deputy chief of staff is being derided by Krancer’s predecessor, John Hanger.
PDC Signs MarkWest Deal, Nearly Doubles Capex in Utica
PDC Energy Inc. has signed a midstream services agreement with MarkWest Utica EMG LLC and plans to nearly double its capital expenditures (capex) in the Utica Shale for 2013 while also increasing its estimated net production.