NEW YORK (Reuters) – SandRidge Energy Corp is giving its chief executive wide latitude to profit from personal oil-and-gas deals in ways that pose potential conflicts of interest with the company, according to a review of employment contracts and recent transactions.
SandRidge has lifted most restrictions on CEO Tom Ward’s ability to sell mineral rights or drill wells, through little-noticed changes to his employment agreement in 2011. (See Factbox.)
HOUSTON/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Strength in refining and chemicals led to higher-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings for Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Chevron Corp (CVX.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the two largest U.S. oil companies.
A flood of oil produced from U.S. shale formations has pushed refining margins higher for many companies with plants in the United States, while chemical companies are benefiting from the low price of natural gas, a key feedstock.
(Reuters) – Aubrey McClendon will no longer be running Chesapeake Energy Corp (CHK.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) come April 1. But he is likely to remain deeply entangled with the company he founded 24 years ago.
America’s second-largest natural-gas producer said on Tuesday that McClendon is stepping down as chief executive and a board member. He is leaving behind legal predicaments and intertwined personal and corporate interests that analysts say could linger for years.
By Anna Driver
(Reuters) – Chesapeake Energy Corp (CHK.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said on Tuesday that Aubrey McClendon will step down as chief executive after a tumultuous year in which a series of Reuters investigations triggered civil and criminal probes of second-largest U.S. natural-gas producer.
News of the executive’s plan to depart on April 1 sent the company’s shares up 8 percent. The stock has recovered in recent months after losing almost half its value last spring when a Reuters report opened the company and its co-founder up to intense scrutiny.
By Anna Driver
(Reuters) – Valero Energy Corp (VLO.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the largest independent U.S. refiner, reported a bigger-than-expected jump in fourth-quarter profit on Tuesday as it processed more cheaper crude oil from U.S. shale basins.
Shares of Valero rose 8.5 percent to $42.11 in morning New York Stock Exchange trading.
Jan 29 (Reuters) – Valero Energy Corp, the largest
independent U.S. refiner, reported a bigger-than-expected jump
in fourth-quarter profit on Tuesday as it processed more cheaper
crude oil from U.S. shale basins.
Shares of Valero rose 8.5 percent to $42.11 in morning New
York Stock Exchange trading.
HOUSTON (Reuters) – James Davis, the government’s top witness in convicted swindler Allen Stanford’s fraud trial, was sentenced on Tuesday to five years in prison for his role in a $7 billion Ponzi scheme.
Davis, 64, who pleaded guilty in 2009 to three charges and could have been sentenced to 30 years, told the court in a breaking voice: “I am ashamed and I am embarrassed.” He added that he let down his family, co-workers and thousands of investors.
SAN FRANCISCO/HOUSTON (Reuters) – When U.S. natural gas producers release their 2012 annual reports in the next several weeks, many companies may have to drastically reduce a key indicator of their financial health: reserves.
Even though U.S. natural gas prices have bounced away from the decade lows of last April, the country’s Securities and Exchange Commission requires companies to calculate and report year-end oil and gas reserves using 12-month average prices.
(Reuters) – An investor in SandRidge Energy Inc (SD.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) that has been seeking to replace the company’s board and chief executive is now calling on the board to suspend CEO Tom Ward and probe claims by another big shareholder that Ward and a company run by his son acquired mineral rights and flipped then to SandRidge at a profit.
Mount Kellett Capital, which holds about 4.5 percent in SandRidge, said in a letter to the board of the oil and gas company on Thursday, which it released publicly, that it was reviewing the allegations made by TPG-Axon, a hedge fund that owns 6.7 percent of SandRidge.
(Reuters) – For 17 years, Tom Ward and Aubrey McClendon teamed up to build Chesapeake Energy Corp into the second-largest natural gas producer in the United States.
The two Oklahoma City energy men were a study in contrasts. CEO McClendon was brash and aggressive; company president Ward came across as steady and soft-spoken.