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Jul 26, 2012

Exxon Mobil output, chemicals unit dampen earnings

By Anna Driver and Matt Daily

(Reuters) – Exxon Mobil Corp, the world’s largest publicly traded oil company, posted lower-than-expected quarterly earnings on Thursday as its oil and gas output sagged and weak margins hurt its chemicals business.

Weaker global oil prices have weighed on earnings across the sector and Exxon also felt the sting of decade-low U.S. natural gas prices, especially in the United States where it is the largest producer of the fuel.

Jul 25, 2012

ConocoPhillips, Hess raise 2012 spending plans

By Anna Driver and Matt Daily

(Reuters) – Lower oil prices shrank quarterly profits at ConocoPhillips (COP.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Hess Corp (HES.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), and both companies raised their 2012 spending plans in a bid to increase crude production.

Global oil prices weakened in the second quarter as tensions in the Middle East around Iran eased and the economic outlook soured, but prices have rebounded a bit in July.

Jul 25, 2012

ConocoPhillips, Hess profits drop as oil prices weaken

July 25 (Reuters) – Lower oil prices hurt quarterly profits
at ConocoPhillips and Hess Corp, but both
companies beat Wall Street forecasts.

Conoco, reporting earnings for the first time since shedding
its refining and chemicals businesses, saw its oil and gas
output slip below its full-year production goal as asset sales,
maintenance and curtailed gas production weighed. But the
company said its new projects were coming on line as planned.

Jul 18, 2012

Southeastern says Chesapeake leadership issues “moot”

HOUSTON (Reuters) – Southeastern Asset Management Inc, Chesapeake Energy Corp’s (CHK.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) largest shareholder, cast doubt on the leadership issues that have dogged the natural gas company and said its new board is fully committed to shareholders.

Chesapeake’s chief executive, Aubrey McClendon, has been under fire following Reuters reports that he personally borrowed more than $1 billion from a big lender to the company and may have colluded with a competitor to keep land prices low, among other things.

Jul 17, 2012

Exclusive: Chesapeake board changes could trigger bonus windfall for many

By Anna Driver and John Shiffman and Brian Grow

(Reuters) – Chesapeake Energy Corp often boasts that it’s one of America’s best workplaces, offering its 13,500 employees such benefits as Botox injections, NBA tickets and a fitness center with an Olympic-sized pool and a rock-climbing wall.

What the company hasn’t disclosed is perhaps the most extraordinary perk of all: A group of about 1,600 employees is guaranteed a unique type of payment if the company changes hands, internal Chesapeake documents reviewed by Reuters show.

Jul 3, 2012

Analysis: Gas liquids glut may spur asset sales, cuts

HOUSTON (Reuters) – U.S. oil and gas companies that have depended on natural gas liquids to lift profits may now have to rein in spending or sell some assets after the industry drilled its way into a glut of natural gas liquids.

Prolonged low natural gas prices sent most of the exploration and production industry in search of gas that contains butane, propane and ethane – natural gas liquids (NGLs) that can be stripped out and sold for higher prices linked to a barrel of crude oil.

Jul 2, 2012

Exxon considers oil/gas exploration in Afghanistan

HOUSTON (Reuters) – Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is contemplating participation in an oil and gas tender of six blocks in northern Afghanistan, a company spokesman said on Monday.

Access to the world’s oil reserves for companies like Exxon has gotten tougher in recent years as governments assert tighter control of their resources. Opportunity exists, however, in countries like Afghanistan or Iraq where foreign oil companies’ budgets and expertise are needed.

Jun 25, 2012

Chesapeake, Encana shares fall on report of land price plot

By Brian Grow and Anna Driver

(Reuters) – Shares of Chesapeake Energy Corp (CHK.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Encana Corp (ECA.TO: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) tumbled Monday after a Reuters investigation showed that top executives of the two rivals plotted in 2010 to avoid bidding against each other in a state auction and in at least nine prospective deals with private land owners.

Following the report, the state of Michigan pledged to determine whether the two energy giants acted two years ago to suppress land prices there.

Jun 21, 2012

Chesapeake names ex-Conoco chief Dunham chairman

June 21 (Reuters) – Chesapeake Energy Corp named
former Conoco head Archie Dunham its new chairman, replacing
Aubrey McClendon as it seeks to quell a shareholder revolt over
a governance crisis.

McClendon, who co-founded the company 23 years ago and built
it into the second-largest natural gas producer in the country
after Exxon Mobil Corp, continues as chief executive,
but will report to a more independent board and an influential
chairman who will likely rein in his free-spending ways.

Jun 19, 2012

Stanford exec Holt to plead guilty-source

June 19 (Reuters) – Laura Pendergest-Holt, a former
executive in convicted swindler Allen Stanford’s investment
firm, has agreed to plead guilty and will receive a three-year
prison sentence for her role in a $7 billion fraud, a source
familiar with the case said on Tuesday.

Earlier this month, Stanford was sentenced to 110 years in
prison for running a Ponzi scheme in which he stole money from
investors around the world that helped to finance an extravagant
lifestyle.

    • About Anna

      "I currently cover large U.S. oil and gas companies including Exxon Mobil and ConocoPhillips as part of the equities desk's Raw Materials Team. I am based in Houston, Texas."
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