Correspondent, Energy and Infrastructure
Braden's Feed
Oct 3, 2012

Third Point’s Loeb targets Murphy Oil, shares rise

NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Shares of Murphy Oil Corp (MUR.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) rose more than 4 percent on Wednesday after hedge fund manager and veteran corporate agitator Daniel Loeb told investors in his Third Point fund that shares of the oil and gas company could be 60 percent higher.

Loeb has not taken an activist position in Murphy, but he sounded like an activist in his recent quarterly letter to investors, a copy of which was viewed by Reuters.

Oct 3, 2012

Analysis: North Dakota oil drilling costs have peaked – for now

By Braden Reddall

(Reuters) – The land rush that drove thousands of roughnecks, drillers and leasing agents to North Dakota’s oilfields is cooling off, bringing down costs in the country’s most expensive major energy basin.

Service costs are falling as companies concentrate drilling in fewer locations, industry executives say, while equipment rents are down after demand evaporated due to a nationwide glut of natural gas.

Sep 15, 2012

Idyllic Oregon thrust into energy export debate

, Sept 15 (Reuters) – When federal officials
arrived in this scenic but economically struggling port a few
weeks ago for hearings on a proposed liquefied natural gas
plant, some residents had a sense of deja vu: it was only six
years earlier, in the same auditorium, that they had already
discussed the pros and cons of an LNG plant.

But there was one big difference this time around: the 2006
plan was designed to bring gas in, while the current project
calls for shipping gas out.

Sep 12, 2012

Transocean says Brazilian operating ban upheld

Sept 12 (Reuters) – Transocean Ltd said on
Wednesday a Brazilian court upheld a ruling that would prevent
the world’s largest offshore rig contractor from operating in
the country because of an oil spill last November.

Prosecutors seeking $20 billion in damages from well
operator Chevron Corp and rig owner Transocean over the
3,600-barrel spill sought the ban to ensure payment.

Sep 12, 2012

Probe of Chevron Richmond fire finds thinned pipe wall

RICHMOND, California (Reuters) – The wall of a pipe figuring in the investigation of Chevron Corp’s Richmond refinery fire last month had thinned to 20 percent of its original design thickness, the Chemical Safety Board (CSB) said on Tuesday.

While the cause of the thinning was not yet certain, Chevron had recently replaced another pipe in that part of the refinery, CSB Managing Director Daniel Horowitz said at a city council meeting in the northern California city.

Sep 10, 2012

Transocean to sell 38 old rigs after 1-1/2 year effort

Sept 10 (Reuters) – Transocean Ltd, the world’s
largest offshore driller, is selling 38 less-capable rigs to
focus on more lucrative shallow-water units as well as rigs that
work in water more than a mile deep.

Older models are in low demand and face higher downtime,
with maintenance costs cutting into profits. Transocean and
rival Noble Corp have both spent a year and a half
sounding out interest in selling them, and Noble’s search
continues.

Aug 2, 2012

Fluor profit down but ahead of Wall St, backlog grows

Aug 2 (Reuters) – Engineering company Fluor Corp on
Thursday reported a stronger-than-expected quarterly profit on
growth across its four top segments, while its power unit made a
loss from investing in small-modular nuclear reactor firm
NuScale.

Boosted by oil and gas work, the project backlog for the
largest publicly traded U.S. engineering company increased to
$43 billion from $42.5 billion three months before. This
included $337 million for an aluminum automotive sheet facility
in Saudi Arabia, announced on Wednesday.

Aug 2, 2012

Chevron says Ecuador arbitration to stretch into 2014

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug 2 (Reuters) – An international tribunal
that will weigh in on Chevron Corp’s two-decade dispute
over pollution in Ecuador has set a timeline that runs into
2014, according to a Chevron regulatory filing on Thursday.

The panel, formed via The Hague’s Permanent Court of
Arbitration under the United Nations Commission on International
Trade Law, is hearing a dispute over whether Ecuador violated a
treaty with the United States requiring it to guarantee Chevron
a fair trial.

Aug 1, 2012

Transocean Q2 revenue jumps, adds $750 mln Macondo cost

Aug 1 (Reuters) – Transocean Ltd posted
higher-than-expected revenue on Wednesday but made a loss as the
contract driller took an extra $750 million charge related to a
potential settlement for the Macondo well disaster in the Gulf
of Mexico.

Transocean said operating and maintenance costs rose 5
percent in the second quarter to $1.6 billion as a result of rig
maintenance, a persistent challenge for the owner of the world’s
largest offshore drilling fleet.

Jul 27, 2012

Halliburton takes KBR to court over $256 mln tax dispute

July 27 (Reuters) – Halliburton Co and KBR Inc
are battling in court over a $256 million tax dispute,
as the two companies seek to put to bed the various issues
lingering from their corporate break-up five years ago.

Especially in relation to work done for the U.S. military in
Iraq, Halliburton, the world’s second-largest oilfield services
company, and its engineering spin-off have found themselves in
court a number of times since their split, usually on the same
side.

    • About Braden

      "Spent early career in London covering technology, media and telecoms over five years, after an initial stint in Dublin. Worked as India's chief financial copy editor and deputy bureau chief in Mumbai for 2-1/2 years before moving to San Francisco in 2006, first to edit West Coast stories and then to cover the energy business. A native Californian, Braden received his BA in Economics from the University of Chicago in 1996."
      Joined Reuters:
      1997
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