Weak natural gas prices forced Devon Energy Corp. to write down almost $900 million in the value of its assets in the fourth quarter, the Oklahoma City-based operator said Wednesday.
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Hess Corp. said Monday it plans to sell its oil terminal network in the United States and close its refinery at Port Reading, NJ, part of its strategy to completely exit the refining business and transform into an exploration and production (E&P) company focused on unconventional assets.
Cash prices on average skidded about another dime overall on Friday as surging prices at a couple of points in the Northeast couldn’t balance an overall weak tenor to an oversupplied market. Midwest points slipped less than a dime, but Gulf and eastern points suffered double digit losses. At the close of trading January futures had made it five straight losses in a row for the week and settled at $3.314, down 3.3 cents and February lost 3.1 cents to $3.358. January crude oil added 84 cents to $86.73.
Cash natural gas fell 11 cents overall on average Wednesday as the screen continued weak and there was no hint that winter weather would be enough to make a significant dent in storage. Northeast points were particularly hard hit but the Midcontinent and East weakened as well. At the close of trading January futures had fallen3.0 cents to $3.382 and February had dropped 2.9 cents to $3.412. January crude oil added 98 cents to $86.77/bbl.
Tennessee Gas Pipeline (TGP) Zone 4 cash basis will remain weak for a while, although it will see an uplift of about 50 cents at the end of the year when the pipeline’s Northeast Supply Diversification project and National Fuel’s Northern Access expansion come online, Bentek Energy LLC said in a recent market note.
Rebounding from a weak finish to the previous week, a majority of physical natural gas points around the country on Monday moved higher from a nickel to nearly 15 cents. The cash market might be able to keep the upward momentum rolling for another day if traders are swayed by the futures action Monday, which saw September gas climb 5.7 cents to close the regular session at $2.776.
Australia’s BHP Billiton Ltd. took a $2.84 billion pre-tax charge against the value of dry gas assets in the Fayetteville Shale that it acquired just last year due to weak natural gas prices and oversupply. Further, the company’s once-touted Petrohawk Energy Corp., also bought last year, so far this year has been a loss-maker.