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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for December delivery added 32 cents to $57.12 on the New York Merc, while Brent for January added 31 cents to $62.37 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $18.85 to WTI, up from a discount of $19.00. Natural gas for December lost two cents to $2.60. The TSX energy index lost a fraction to close at 134.17.
Eco (Atlantic) Oil & Gas Ltd. (EOG) had a miserable day, plunging $1.01 to $1.15 on 2.75 million shares, as horrified investors fled in the wake of its latest update from Guyana. Eco's press releases normally have the opposite effect. From January to September, Eco's stock rose to nearly $3 from around 60 cents on rising optimism about the two exploration wells that were drilled in Guyana this year by Eco and its joint venturers, Tullow Oil and France's Total. The wells were drilled at the offshore Orinduik block and made oil discoveries in August and September, respectively. Now the joint venturers have completed their initial analysis of the wells. To hear Eco's chief promoters talk, the analysis was a rousing success. "Optimistic," "very encouraged" and "very confident" were just some of the descriptions that dotted the press release. Co-founder and chief executive officer Gil Holzman even called himself "extremely confident." Yet no amount of cheerful phrasing could gloss over the bottom line: Unexpectedly, and quite unfortunately, the oil in the two wells appears to be heavy and sour.
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