Sunday, February 27, 2011

Russia Sending Natural Gas to Europe

PRLog – Feb 25, 2011 – Historically, Europe has been one of the leading consumers of natural gas, though in recent years, the natural gas consumption has been declining. Decline in consumption has been a result of economic slowdown, due to recession and a conscious attempt by European Union to cut it natural gas consumption, of which a substantial amount comes from Russia. And worrying part remains that there are very few alternatives for Europe to Russian gas supplies. According to IEA’s estimates, the current European energy imports of 50% are projected to rise to 70% by 2030. This means, the current share of Russian supply, which makes almost half of Europe’s natural gas imports, is likely to increase over next two decades. Synergyst’s “Future of European Natural Gas Market (2011-2015)” explores the current situation of natural gas imports in Europe, role of Russia in those supplies and an analysis of alternatives to Russian supplies. 

Report Coverage and Highlights

- Report discusses the overall economic condition in Europe and analyzes Current electricity production, consumption and trade Trends and projects future economic growth and energy demand and supply.

- European gas market is evaluated in detail with Current demand and supply scenario and future projection for the same.

- Importance of Russian gas supply is analyzed with emphasis on European imports and estimates for future Russian production and export. Role of Gazprom is also looked into in detail.

- Natural gas demand and supply Trends and import dependency are examined for leading European Countries and future recommendations are presented. Countries analyzed include Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Spain and United Kingdom.

- Also discussed is the situation in Countries that are highly dependent on Russian Natural gas supplies. These include Austria, Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovakia.

- Issues like monopolistic attitude of Gazprom, geopolitical disturbance in the region and rising costs are discussed in detail to highlight the Importance of Europe looking elsewhere for gas supplies.

- In-depth evaluation of alternative supply options is presented along with our recommendations for future choices. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Natural Gas Safety Tips

PRLog (Press Release) – Feb 18, 2011 – Natural Gas Safety Awareness Can Mean The Difference Between Life and Death 
A leading energy company reminds people safety is key following deadly Pennsylvania gas explosion

Stamford, CT – February 18, 2011 – The cause of the natural gas explosion that rocked a Pennsylvania neighborhood and left five people dead last week is still unclear.  The investigation is currently focused on the aging cast-iron gas main that services the Allentown, Pennsylvania neighborhood.

According to a leading independent energy provider, regardless of the cause of this particular tragedy, the accident serves as an opportunity for everyone to review the importance of natural gas safety.

«This terrible tragedy in Pennsylvania illustrates just how deadly natural gas can be,» says Jeffrey Mayer, President and CEO of MXenergy, one of the nation's fastest growing independent energy providers. «Natural gas provides an important and invaluable service but it is equally critical that we treat it with respect and always use the upmost care when dealing with it in any capacity.»

Natural Gas Safety Tips

Use Your Nose: If you smell even the slightest odor of gas leave the area immediately and call your service provider or 911 from a remote location.  Do not waste time or use anything that can cause a spark, such as a cell phone or even a garage door opener

Regular Inspections:  Have all gas appliances, furnaces, chimneys, vents and gas lines regularly inspected and maintained by a certified professional

Keep Areas Clear:  Keep all areas surrounding appliances and equipment unblocked to allow for clear airflow

Look for the Blue Flame:  Check all pilot lights and burners for a steady blue flame.  The only exception is gas fireplaces which sometimes have a yellow flame

Dig Safely:  Always call your local provider before you begin digging to avoid hitting an underground pipe and causing a leak

Store Properly:  Never set flammable material close to any gas appliance or equipment

Properly Maintain Your Meter:  Don't allow frozen rain or ice to build up on your meter.  Use a broom (never a shovel) to clear ice and snow

Signs Of Trouble

Listen:  A hissing noise near a pipeline or building is cause for concern.  Immediately call your local service provider

Look:  Dead or distressed vegetation above a gas main is another cause for concern and should be reported

Sniff:  Any hint of natural gas odor inside or outdoors is cause for immediate action.  Quickly leave the area and then call your provider or 911 for help

«Safety and awareness are of critical importance,» continues Mayer.  «While there is no evidence of homeowner negligence in the Pennsylvania explosion, it still is a reminder to us all of the awesome power of natural gas and the necessity for constant caution and respect.»

Pennsylvania investigators report no calls of problems or odor prior to the explosion and plan to send cameras through the main to look for cracks and will perform pressure tests on the service lines.

# # #

MXenergy is one of the fastest growing retail natural gas and electricity suppliers in North America, serving approximately 500,000 customers in 41 utility territories in the United States and Canada. For over 11 years, the company has provided millions of customers with a choice in how they purchase energy to run their homes and businesses. Founded in 1999 to provide natural gas and electricity to consumers in deregulated energy markets, MXenergy helps residential customers and small business owners control their energy bills by providing both fixed and variable rate plans. MXenergy is committed to best practices in environmental conservation, supporting local communities through various outreach programs and is a member of the Chicago Climate Exchange. For more information MXenergy please visit

Sunday, February 20, 2011

European Gas Group Met in January

PRLog (Press Release) – Jan 13, 2011 – There are high expectations in the gas industry for a lively European Gas Conference when all the major role players in the great pipeline debate take to the stage in Vienna from 26-28 January.

The Great European Pipeline Debate
The attendance of the European Gas Conference by the heads and high-level supporters of the five major European pipeline projects, including Nabucco, South Stream and White Stream, promises some fascinating debate during the event.  

South Stream is a proposed gas pipeline to transport Russian natural gas to the Black Sea to Bulgaria and further to Italy and Austria.  It is seen as a rival to the planned Nabucco pipeline which will run from Turkey to Austria and is supported by the EU as an attempt to lessen European dependence on Russian energy.  White Stream (also known as the Georgia-Ukraine-EU gas pipeline) is a proposed pipeline project to transport natural gas from the Caspian region to Romania and Ukraine with further supplies to Central Europe.

Report back on latest developments
Austrian Economy minister Reinhold Mittlerlehner, the leading oil and gas corporation, OMV, and former German Foreign minister Joschka Fischer are also amongst the distinguished panel of speakers at the event which will bring together some 300 stakeholders from the European gas industry.  

The Managing Director of Nabucco Gas Pipeline International, Reinhard Mitschek, will report back on the latest developments in the project, Joschka Fischer is a committed Nabucco supporter while OMV is a partner in the pipeline.  

Representing South Stream is the CEO, Marcel Kramer, who will also present an update while the head of the Russian Gas Society on energy and gas co-operation and State Duma deputy chairman, Valery Yazev, is a well-known proponent of the Russian pipeline project.  A significant delegation from the Russian gas giant, Gazprom, is attending as well as a high-level representative from the Turkish Energy Ministry.

Robert Pirani, the chairman of the White Stream project will also be there and along with the other major European pipelines, TAP and ITGI, will present the latest project developments during the European Gas Conference.

Other topics that will be addressed include:
  How long the decoupling of oil and gas prices will last, and how it will affect the industry
  North, East, South, West and Central European cooperation to ensure security of  
  The facilitation of an open European gas market
  Global context: how developments in Middle Eastern, US, and North African gas will impact the European market 

Friday, February 18, 2011

Oil and Natural Gas Assets Acquired by DeeThree

D Three Technology is not affiliated with DeeThree

DeeThree Exploration Ltd. ("DeeThree" or the "Company") (TSX:DTX) is pleased to announce that it has entered into a definitive purchase and sale agreement (the "Agreement") with Fairborne Energy Ltd. and Fairborne Pivotal Production Partnership (the "Vendor") pursuant to which DeeThree will, subject to certain conditions, acquire producing oil and natural gas assets (the "Assets") for cash consideration of $125 million (the "Acquisition"), subject to customary closing adjustments. The Acquisition is expected to close on or about March 22, 2011 with an effective date of January 1, 2011. The closing of the Acquisition is subject to certain conditions and the receipt of all required regulatory approvals, including the approval of the Toronto Stock Exchange.
DeeThree will finance the Acquisition through a combination of the net proceeds of a $100 million 'bought deal' short form prospectus subscription receipt offering and its existing working capital. In addition, the 'bought deal' prospectus offering will also include the issuance of common shares on a "flow-through" basis under the Income Tax Act (Canada) for additional proceeds of $15 million. A description of the prospectus offering is provided below under "Financing". 
Summary of the Acquisition
Through the Acquisition, DeeThree is acquiring approximately 1,830 boe/d (2010 exit production) of primarily high working interest, operated oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids production and reserves principally situated in Brazeau, West Pembina and the Peace River Arch area of northern Alberta.
The Assets have the following material attributes.
  • Low-decline production of approximately 1,830 boe/d of which 40% is light crude oil and natural gas liquids;
  • High working interest, operated light oil resource style play with production from the Belly River formation over a contiguous land base in the Brazeau area with associated facilities and infrastructure ownership;
  • Various oil and gas producing assets in the Peace River Arch consisting of stable diversified production from the Montney, Charlie Lake, Bluesky, Spirit River Group and Doe Creek formations with ownership in associated facilities and infrastructure including a gas processing plant;
  • Proved plus Probable Reserves – 5.416 mmboe 1;
  • Reserve life index of 8.1 years on proved plus probable reserves as of December 31, 2009 and based on current production;
  • Undeveloped land of approximately 32,000 net acres which DeeThree estimates to have a value of approximately $7 million;
  • Numerous identified low-risk vertical and horizontal drilling locations on the acquired lands.
1 The aforementioned reserves information is based on an independent engineering evaluation report prepared by GLJ Petroleum Consultants Ltd. effective December 31, 2009. 
Transaction Metrics
DeeThree will significantly increase its oil and natural gas liquids weighting upon completion of the Acquisition to approximately 40% of proved plus probable reserves. Based on the $125 million purchase price, net of $7 million of undeveloped land value, the key transaction metrics are:
  • $64,480 per boe/d of production;
  • $21.78 per proved plus probable boe of reserves; and
  • The acquisition is accretive to DeeThree on all key metrics.
Strategic Rationale
DeeThree believes there are numerous anticipated benefits and upside potential associated with the Acquisition, as described below:
  • The Brazeau property which forms part of the Assets complements the Company's emerging Alberta Bakken light oil play providing an additional "high-quality" resource play with several operational synergies;
  • Internal reserve estimates indicate considerable upside associated with the Assets beyond current reserves bookings, particularly in a light oil resource play at Brazeau where the Company estimates significant unrecovered reserves;
  • The Assets will provide the Company with a more balanced and diverse production base resulting in 2011 pro forma exit of approximately 50% crude oil and NGLs;
  • With the combination of increased cash flow from the acquired Assets along with the anticipated increase to the Company's credit facility, the Company can comfortably fund its aggressive program to explore and develop the Alberta Bakken;
  • DeeThree is seeking and is confident that it will obtain an increase of $30 million to its existing revolving credit facility to a total of $40 million. The new credit facility is subject to credit approval and satisfaction of conditions that are typical of transactions of this nature, including the closing of the Acquisition. The planned incremental borrowing capacity associated with the Assets will help DeeThree retain its strong balance sheet and financial flexibility;
  • The Peace River Arch component of the asset package provides DeeThree with access to a production and land base in which the Company's technical team has extensive past experience and success in exploring and developing. 
DeeThree has concurrently entered into an agreement with a syndicate of underwriters co-led by Macquarie Capital Markets Canada Ltd. and Casimir Capital Ltd. pursuant to which DeeThree will issue 23,300,000 subscription receipts ("Subscription Receipts") at a price of $4.30 per Subscription Receipt, by way of a 'bought deal' short form prospectus offering for gross proceeds of $100,190,000 and 3,000,000 common shares ("Flow-Through Shares") issued on a "flow-through" basis under the Income Tax Act (Canada) at the price of $5.15 per share for gross proceeds of $15,450,000, representing aggregate gross proceeds of $115,640,000. In addition, DeeThree has granted the underwriters a 15% an over-allotment option (the "Option") to purchase, on the same terms, up to an additional 3,495,000 Subscription Receipts for additional gross proceeds of up to $15,028,500 if the Option is exercised in full. This Option is exercisable, in whole or in part, by the underwriters at any time up to 30 days following the closing of the offering to cover the Underwriters' over-allotments, if any. The maximum gross proceeds raised under the offering will be $130,668,500 should this Option be exercised in full. Closing of the offering is anticipated to occur on or before March 11, 2011, and is subject to the receipt of applicable regulatory approvals, including approval of the TSX.
The proceeds of the Subscription Receipt offering will be used to partially fund the Acquisition and the proceeds of the Flow-Through Share offering will be used to fund DeeThree's ongoing exploration activities on its newly acquired properties and also its Lethbridge properties.
Upon completion of this Acquisition, DeeThree's 2011 capital expenditure program is anticipated to be increased from the previously announced $32 million to $41 million including the planned drilling of seven Bakken locations and an additional seven light oil horizontal locations on the anticipated acquired Property. With the additional cash flow from the acquired property and the anticipated increase in the Company's credit facility, DeeThree is well positioned to fund its 2011 capital expenditure program.
Bakken Update
In late 2010, the Company spud its first vertical Bakken stratigraphic test well on its Lethbridge property. The well was successfully drilled to the planned vertical depth with the target section cored and retrieved. After reviewing encouraging results from the core data, DeeThree proceeded with a horizontal leg. As of today's date, DeeThree has successfully drilled its planned horizontal leg and with continued positive results, installed a 15-stage frac assembly. The well is currently awaiting fracture stimulation operations. 
The Company has two more licensed stratigraphic vertical wells that will be cored; testing additional land blocks and is currently in various stages of acquiring several multi-well pad sites. In total DeeThree plans to drill another seven Bakken locations on its Lethbridge property throughout 2011 with one rig being utilized consistently throughout the year with the possibility of engaging a second rig depending on results.
DeeThree's Advisors
Macquarie Capital Markets Canada Ltd. acted as financial advisor and Casimir Capital Ltd. acted as strategic advisor to DeeThree with respect to the Acquisition.
For further information, please contact Martin Cheyne, President and Chief Executive Officer of DeeThree Exploration Ltd., by telephone at (403) 263-9130.
Reader Advisory
Forward-Looking Statements. Certain information included in this press release constitutes forward-looking information under applicable securities legislation. Such forward-looking information is provided for the purpose of providing information about management's current expectations and plans relating to the future. Readers are cautioned that reliance on such information may not be appropriate for other purposes, such as making investment decisions. Forward-looking information typically contains statements with words such as "anticipate", "believe", "expect", "plan", "intend", "estimate", "propose", "project" or similar words suggesting future outcomes or statements regarding an outlook. Forward-looking information in this press release may include, but is not limited to, information with respect to: operational decisions and the timing thereof, development and exploration plans and the timing thereof; future production level; timing for completion of the Acquisition and the Prospectus financing and the anticipated benefits resulting from the transactions described in this press release. Forward-looking information is based on a number of factors and assumptions which have been used to develop such information but which may prove to be incorrect.
Although DeeThree believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking information is reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking information because DeeThree can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. In addition to other factors and assumptions which may be identified in this press release, assumptions have been made regarding and are implicit in, among other things: field production rates and decline rates; the ability of DeeThree to complete the Acquisition and the other transactions described in this press release and, once completed, to realize the anticipated benefits of the Acquisition and other transactions; the timely receipt of any required regulatory approvals; the ability of DeeThree to obtain qualified staff, equipment and services in a timely and cost efficient manner to develop its business; DeeThree's ability to operate the properties in a safe, efficient and effective manner; the ability of DeeThree to obtain financing on acceptable terms; the ability to replace and expand oil and natural gas reserves through acquisition, development of exploration; the timing and costs of pipeline, storage and facility construction and expansion; future oil and natural gas prices; currency, exchange and interest rates; the regulatory framework regarding royalties, taxes and environmental matters; and the ability of DeeThree to successfully market its oil and natural gas products. Readers are cautioned that the foregoing list is not exhaustive of all factors and assumptions which have been used. DeeThree undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements if circumstances or management's estimates or opinions should change, unless required by law. 
Forward-looking information is based on current expectations, estimates and projections that involve a number of risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated by DeeThree and described in the forward-looking information. The material risk factors affecting DeeThree and its business are contained in DeeThree's Annual Information Form which is available under DeeThree's issuer profile on SEDAR
The reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on this forward-looking information.
BOE Presentation. References herein to "boe" mean barrels of oil equivalent derived by converting gas to oil in the ratio of six thousand cubic feet (Mcf) of gas to one barrel (bbl) of oil. Boe may be misleading, particularly if used in isolation. A boe conversion ratio of 6 Mcf: 1 bbl is based on an energy conversion method primarily applicable at the burner tip and does not represent a value equivalency at the wellhead.
The securities offered have not been and will not be registered under the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or applicable exemption from the registration requirement. This media release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy, nor shall there by any sale of the securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful.
For more information, please contact
DeeThree Exploration Ltd.
Martin Cheyne
President and Chief Executive Officer
(403) 263-9130

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Munn from Mack Energy Says Slow Down the Talk

Amid the frenzy of shale gas drilling that has extended from the Barnett Shale to the Marcellus in the northeast, one Midland expert is holding a stop sign.
"My pitch is to slow down," said Bill Munn, manager of gas marketing with Mack Energy of his recent talk with members of the Natural Gas Society of the Permian Basin.
"The shales, no one knows what they are yet," he continued. "The facts have nowhere near caught up with the hype. The facts may support the hype or they may not; we're getting way ahead of ourselves."
Munn compared the hype to the dot-com and real estate bubbles or even electric deregulation in Texas where "we were told under deregulation our electric bills would be real cheap."
He stressed that the gas reserves operators active in the shale plays promise may well exist, "but this is still bad rock," and producing that gas will be difficult and expensive. The operators promoting those reserves are not doing anything wrong, he added. But, he pointed out, everyone has their own agenda.
"I'm not an expert," said the veteran gas marketer. "I'm not a geologist, I don't have degrees. But I have some facts and I don't believe we have all this gas that will be coming out of the ground. I don't think it's economical," and he is skeptical production could rise to 30 billion cubic feet.
Again, he said, he is urging patience.
"If I were these companies, I'd put the best spin on it; that's not wrong. But the public is not seeing a lot of the facts. We don't know if the depletion rate is rapid or if the rate will last forever. When I see phrases like 'game changer' or 'new world,' when I hear those terms I get cautious. We need that gas and it's there, we just don't know what it will cost. In an area that covers 100 miles, that shale isn't uniform. This isn't a hoax but we need to slow down and make sure we know what the production will be and what it will cost."
What is not a part of the discussion about the nation's natural gas supplies, Munn added, is the sharp decline in conventional gas production, which he said has sunk to 6 billion cubic feet a day since he began marketing gas.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Natural Gas Trucks Coming

FT. WORTH, TX--(Marketwire - February 15, 2011) - EVCARCO, Inc. (OTCBBEVCA) (OTCQB:EVCA) announced today that it will sell CNG powered Foton MD 3000 medium-duty class 3-5 trucks at its green auto dealerships. Foton Motor Co. is the largest commercial vehicle manufacturer in China, its existing assets are in excess of 5 Billion Dollars U.S. and they have a staff of 28,000 employees. Foton has the capacity to produce up to 26,000 units of the Foton MD 3000 medium-duty class 3-5 trucks a year.
The MD 3000 and LD1000 are versatile for multi-use applications and are equipped with cargo delivery bodies. The vehicle's chassis and Euro-style cab design allows for easy multi-conversions for uses such as street sweepers and refuse collection. The truck will allow businesses and municipalities to have a high quality, environmentally friendly, domestically produced clean natural gas solution for all of their truck needs.
Mack Sanders, CEO of EVCARCO, stated, "The MD 3000 and LD1000 CNG powered truck will allow our green auto dealerships to enter the commercial sales arena with a high quality versatile environmentally friendly medium duty truck, DOT compliant and with a full warranty. We expect to receive the first CNG powered Foton 3000 next month. Government support and mandates, which have been the key to the adoption of natural-gas vehicles in the U.S. recently, has confirmed our vision. Our team has worked diligently for some time with the manufacturer's distributor on the development of this project and we are pleased with the results."
For more information on EVCARCO, Inc., please view: Shareholder inquiries should be directed to (972) 571-1624.
EVCARCO, Inc. is the first automotive retail group dedicated to deploying a coast-to-coast network of environmentally friendly franchised dealerships and vehicles. EVCARCO is bringing to market the most advanced clean technologies available in plug-in electric, alternative fuel, and
pre-owned hybrid vehicles. We live in the communities we work in; our corporate culture reflects the greening aspirations of our customers. Our dealerships are not just a place to buy a vehicle; they are a warm embrace of eco-culture, a place where like minded individuals can interact while getting a quick AltEng refill on their way to work.
This Press Release contains certain forward looking statements that involve substantial risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, the results of ongoing clinical studies, economic conditions, product and technology development, production efficiencies, product demand, competitive products, competitive environment, successful testing and government regulatory issues. Additional risks are identified in the company's filings made with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Penn Residents Worried About Shale

Residents worried about Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling want to make sure Allegheny County Council holds a second public hearing on the subject.
Council's agenda for Tuesday night includes a motion to schedule a hearing next month.
Gloria Forouzan, of Lawrenceville, said she and other anti-drilling advocates want council members to know the topic is important to many of their constituents.
If authorized by a majority of full council, the session would take place 5 p.m. March 10 in the Gold Room of the courthouse.
Council had held a similar hearing on July 21.
Since that time, County Executive Dan Onorato has come out in support of natural gas drilling on county-owned land, a position that has drawn support from both Republican and Democratic candidates looking to succeed him.
County officials have said that any drilling would have to be done in ways that benefit the local community, protect the environment and respect the rights of neighboring property owners.
With a primary election coming in May, Ms. Forouzan said the topic deserved another airing. "A lot more people have become concerned about this issue in the past few months," she said. "They need a chance to speak out."
Council's government reform committee last week discussed but took no action on three measures that would regulate drilling in the county.
Councilman Michael Finnerty, D-Scott, proposed an ordinance to prohibit natural gas wells within 2,000 feet of a residence. Councilmen Rich Fitzgerald, D-Squirrel Hill, and John DeFazio, D-Shaler, proposed a 500-foot buffer zone. Lycoming County had passed a similar regulation, Mr. Fitzgerald said.
State law requires only a 200-foot buffer around drilling platforms.
Committee members discussed both measures with representatives of the state Department of Environmental Protection and of Range Resources, a drilling company active in Southwestern Pennsylvania.
The proposed county restrictions, which would be stricter than state rules, might not be legal, Range Resources spokesman Jim Cannon said. It was not clear if state law would pre-empt local regulations on setbacks, he said.
Elizabeth Schneider, a member of Lincoln Place Action group, urged council to pass tougher drilling rules. Even a 500-foot buffer zone was not sufficient to protect neighbors in urban or suburban areas, she said.
Councilwoman Jan Rea, R-McCandless, had proposed an ordinance to set up a county disposal registry to keep track of the liquids used to fracture underground rocks and release natural gas.
She withdrew her measure after George Jugovic, the EPA's southwest regional director, said the state collected such reports two times a year.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Worker Still Missing from Mont Belvieu Explosion

Mont Belvieu, TX—One worker is still missing following an explosion and fire at a natural gas liquids plant in Mont Belvieu, Tuesday afternoon, February 8, 2011. The blast occurred around 12:30 p.m. at Enterprise Products petrochemical plant, which is about 30 miles southeast of Houston, as reported by Forbes and Fox News.
A plume of smoke from the explosion and subsequent fire could be seen for 30 miles, as firefighters battled to contain the flames. The fire was so intense that it caused trucks parked in a nearby lot to explode.
Officials believe the blast was caused by a “failure of some kind” on one of the plant’s pipelines that feeds liquids into the dome. Another source stated the explosions also occurred in an iso-octane unit.
One worker is still missing following the blast. Details regarding the missing worker have not been released.
Enterprise Products Partners is one of the largest NGL fractionation complexes in the world.
Investigations are underway.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

LNG Plant Ensenada Still a Go

Ensenada officials who attempted to shut down a big natural gas import terminal that supplies Mexican and U.S. customers were rebuffed Friday by Baja California and federal intervention.
"The municipal police came onto the site," said Kathleen Teora, a spokeswoman for San Diego-based Sempra Energy, which owns the Energia Costa Azul plant. "There was an issue between the state, the federal and the municipal authorities."
The plant continued operating, she said.
Ensenada Mayor Enrique Pelayo Torres ordered the plant shut down Friday saying there were "irregularities and flagrant violations to the law."
Later in the day, however, the president of the Mexican Energy Regulatory Commission sent Pelayo a letter asserting that the plant is operating within the law and that it's up to federal officials, not local politicians, to decide whether it stays open or not.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Chevron Finds More Natural Gas in Australia

SAN RAMON, Calif., Feb 09, 2011 (M2 PRESSWIRE via COMTEX) --
Chevron Corporation (NYSE: CVX | PowerRating) today announced a further drilling success in the Carnarvon Basin offshore Western Australia, Australia's premier hydrocarbon basin.
The Orthrus-2 well is located in the WA-24-R permit area approximately 60 miles (100 kilometers) northwest of Barrow Island. The well was drilled to a total depth of 14,098 feet (4,297 meters).
Combining both appraisal and exploration objectives, the well encountered 243 feet (74 meters) of net gas pay, of which 102 feet (31 meters) of net gas pay was encountered in a deeper, previously unexplored target interval in the Orthrus field.
George Kirkland, vice chairman, Chevron, said, "The find at Orthrus-2 represents our tenth offshore discovery in Australia within the past 18 months. Our successful drilling program offshore Western Australia demonstrates Chevron's global exploration capability and our commitment to technical excellence and safe operations."
Jim Blackwell, president, Chevron Asia Pacific Exploration and Production, said, "Our leading Carnarvon Basin leasehold and our accompanying exploration success help underpin further expansion opportunities on the Gorgon Project."
Chevron's Australian subsidiary is the operator of WA-24-R and holds a 50 percent interest, while Mobil Australia Resources Company Pty Limited holds 25 percent. Shell Development (Australia) Pty Ltd and BP Exploration Alpha Ltd each hold a 12.5 percent interest.
Chevron is one of the world's leading integrated energy companies, with subsidiaries that conduct business worldwide. The company's success is driven by the ingenuity and commitment of its employees and their application of the most innovative technologies in the world. Chevron is involved in virtually every facet of the energy industry. The company explores for, produces and transports crude oil and natural gas; refines, markets and distributes transportation fuels and other energy products;manufactures and sells petrochemical products; generates power and produces geothermal energy; provides energy efficiency solutions; and develops the energy resources of the future, including biofuels. Chevron is based in San Ramon, Calif. More information about Chevron is available at

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Insignia Energy Upbeat

CALGARYFeb. 8 /CNW/ - Insignia Energy Ltd. ("ISN" - TSX) ("Insignia" or the "Company") is pleased to announce the results of its independent reserve evaluation, effective December 31, 2010, of the Company's reserves by GLJ Petroleum Consultants Ltd. ("GLJ").
  • Proved producing reserves increase by 34% to 3.9 MMboe, proved reserves increased by 14% to 6.2 MMboe and proved plus probable ("P+P") reserves increased by 10% to 14.7 MMboe, compared to 2009 year end levels, on a per share basis and on an absolute basis.
  • Insignia's reserve additions totaled 2.4 MMboe on P+P reserves and 1.8 MMboe on proved reserves.
  • The Company increased its oil and natural gas liquid reserves by 98% and 77% on total proved and total P+P reserves, respectively, compared to its 2009 year end reserves.
  • Based on fourth quarter 2010 average production of 3,289 boe per day, Insignia's reserve life index ("RLI") is 12.2 years on P+P basis and 5.1 years on a proved basis

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Gas Trader Pleads Guilty

HOUSTON—Former Houston gas trader Stephanie Roqumore has pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud arising from her scheme to defraud numerous natural gas trading companies of nearly $8 million, United States José Angel Moreno announced today.
Today, at a hearing before United States District Judge Lynn N. Hughes, Roqumore, 48, admitted that from March 2002 through April 2010, she used false and fraudulent financial statements to defraud 12 known companies—Virginia Power Energy Marketing, Inc.; Coral Energy Resources, L.P.; Occidental Energy Marketing, Inc.; Energy-Koch Trading, L.P.; Cargill, Inc.; Hess Corporation; Natural Fuel Resources, Inc.; Proliance Energy, LLC; Southwest Energy, L.P.; Adams Resource Marketing, LTD; Allegheny Energy; and CMS Resource Energy Management Company. Judge Hughes scheduled Roqumore’s sentencing for May 9, 2011. Each of the wire care fraud counts carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in a federal prison and a $250,000 fine. In addition to pleading to the criminal charges, Roqumore has agreed to a forfeiture order of over $4.8 million in illegal proceeds from her scheme.
Roqumore admitted that as the sole employee, owner, and operator of three natural gas trading companies: SRR Energy Management Resources, Inc, d/b/a Gas Energy Management, Inc. (GEM); Gas American Resources, Inc. (GAR); and, Resource American Energy (RAE), she contacted natural gas trading companies all over the country requesting to trade natural gas with them. If the company was interested in trading with Roqumore, the two parties entered into a Base Contract for Sale and Purchase of Natural Gas. Shortly after entering into the contract, Roqumore would request a line of credit from the trading company in order to purchase natural gas from them. The companies required financial statements from Roqumore for whichever of her three companies she was using at the time. The line of credit was granted based on the net worth of the company provided in its financials. The financial statements that Roqumore provided to obtain the lines of credit were intentionally falsified by her to make her companies (GEM, GAR and RAE) appear to be more profitable and worth far more than they actually were.
She further admitted the false financial statements for GEM or GAR were faxed by Roqumore under a cover letter purportedly from an actual Certified Public Accountant (C.P.A.). The attached sheets were stamped "audited" and always showed Roqumore's companies, whether GEM or GAR, with a net year-end income in the millions of dollars. Roqumore admitted that she falsified the cover letters also and that the C.P.A. played no role in her fraudulent behavior. The fraudulent financials showed year-end net incomes for GEM and GAR for 2003 to 2006 in the multi-millions, when in fact neither company’s yearly net income ever exceeded $100K and their ending net income was usually negative. Roqumore also created fraudulent financials for RAE for the same purposes. The RAE financials, however, were sent under a cover letter from a fictitious C.P.A. firm, R&R Accounting and Consulting Group, in Houston.
Roqumore admitted purchasing natural gas from one of the victim companies using the fraudulently obtained line of credit and then selling that natural gas to other gas companies. When the trades settled, Roqumore was paid for the gas she sold but she did not pay the victim company for the gas she bought. For example, from November to December 2005, Energy-Koch Trading, L.P. (EKT) sold GEM $1.1 million of natural gas on credit. Roqumore, in turn, sold that natural gas to four other companies for just under $1.1 million. On the settlement dates, GEM was paid a total of $1,092,187.80 by the four companies, but GEM paid EKT only $50,000. Roqumore never paid EKT the remaining $1,046,331.20 for the natural gas she purchased from them. On August 30, 2006, Roqumore faxed fraudulent financial statements showing a net income of more than $10 million for GAR to National Fuel Resources, Inc. (NFR). Another time, Natural Fuel Resources, Inc. (NFR) sold GAR $1.6 million of natural gas on credit. Roqumore, in turn, sold that natural gas to Conoco Phillips for just over $1.6 million. On the settlement dates, GAR was paid $1,649,730.00 by Conoco Phillips but GAR paid NFR only $100,000. Roqumore never paid NFR the remaining $1,494,617.00 for the natural gas she purchased from them. In total, Roqumore fraudulently obtained approximately $7.9 million in natural gas on credit from the 12 energy companies from March 2002 through April 2010. Roqumore never paid for that natural gas.
Roqumore remains free on bond pending sentencing.
The investigation leading to the criminal charges and today’s conviction was conducted by the FBI. Assistant United States Attorney Al Balboni is prosecuting the case.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Tucson Area Had Natural Gas Shortage This Week

Some Tucson-area customers may be without natural gas service as late as Monday or Tuesday, Southwest Gas spokeswoman Libby Howell said.
The utility is bringing in about 70 workers from elsewhere to help re-start gas service at homes on Tucson's east side.
About 14,000 Tucson homes east of North Swan Road in the Catalina Foothills and in the Rita Ranch area have been without natural gas service since this morning, Howell said.
Southwest Gas workers will have to go door-to-door in those areas twice, Howell said. First they will turn off the meters at each house, then they will go inside each house to light pilot lights and ensure service has resumed, Howell said.
In response to the outages and record cold, city officials are opening two shelters at 5 p.m. today. They are at Udall Center, 7200 E. Tanque Verde Road and Pantano Christian Church, 10355 E. 29th St.
The Udall location will permit pets but only if they are in crates, and the Pantano location will not accept pets.
A shortage of natural gas in the pipeline that serves Tucson left areas on Tucson's northeast and southeast sides without gas service beginning this morning.
The southern part of Sierra Vista, down to Hereford, also is without gas service. Cochise County has set up temporary warming centers, not equipped as shelters, in Benson, Bisbee, Douglas, Sierra Vista and Willcox.
The places most affected around Tucson are from North Swan Road eastward in the Catalina Foothills to North Wentworth Road and the Rita Ranch area on the southeast side.
Southwest Gas is asking customers who still have natural-gas service to limit their use by turning down the heat and reducing hot-water usage.
The reason for the shortage is not only the high demand by residential customers but also high demand by power companies to fuel their plants, El Paso Natural Gas said in a news release. In addition, power outages and freeze-offs in the areas that supply gas have reduced the supply.
“More gas is being taken off our system than we have supplies coming into the system,” El Paso said.
El Paso supplies the gas used by Southwest’s customers, while Southwest runs the local distribution system. El Paso said it is shifting all the gas possible into its pipeline.
East-side resident Donna Ester said her thermostat was set at 60 degrees all night but the gas went out before it automatically goes up during the day. The result: the indoor temperature was in the low 50s all day and promised to go further down.
“I worry most about my cat because he is always cold,” Ester said via e-mail. “I’ve been heating up a neckwarmer in the microwave and putting it in his bed.”
A drop in the pipeline's pressure began knocking out customers' service around 6:30 a.m., Howell said. As the extent of the problem became clear, the utility turned off service to affected areas.
It’s a scary scenario for elderly people living in Hereford, resident Beverly Manigault said. The temperature dropped below zero in their area, which lies in a dip near the Huachuca Mountains, she said.
Electric space heaters are sold out at local retail stores, but Manigault’s husband was able to buy three at the store on Fort Huachuca, she said.
They’re using two in their home and gave the other to an elderly neighbor, she said.
At Loew's Ventana Canyon resort, on the northeast side, 400 guests found themselves without heat today, General Manager Brian Johnson said. The resort adjusted by serving mostly cold items in the restaurants and providing extra blankets to guests.
About 10 guests checked out as a result, he said. Guests may also request to be moved to another inn, he said.
The resort's engineers also examined the gas fireplace in the resort's lobby and determined it could be used to burn wood, so logs are flaming there now, Johnson said.
"A lot of guests we’ve talked to have been very understanding," he said. "It’s totally out of our control."