Energy Sector Recap Week Ending Sept. 21, 2012

By Eric Fox | September 24, 2012 AAA

The energy sector continued to shuffle assets around with several major deals announced involving oil and gas properties in both the onshore United States and the Gulf of Mexico. The industry also reported continued success in global exploration to supply future energy demand.

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Shifting Sands
The cliché of beauty is in the eye of the beholder applies to the energy patch, with various companies divesting assets and finding other operators eager to gobble up these properties. Denbury Resources (NYSE:DNR) announced the sale of Bakken properties in North Dakota and Montana to Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) for $1.6 billion and interests in two Exxon Mobil fields in Texas and Wyoming. Denbury Resources has decided to focus on its core carbon dioxide flood operations and believes that the two acquired fields are suitable for these activities.

Newfield Exploration Company (NYSE:NFX) announced the sale of its remaining oil and gas properties in the Gulf of Mexico to W&T Offshore (NYSE:WTI). The agreement covers interests in 12 oil and gas fields and brings proceeds from the company's total divestitures in the Gulf of Mexico to $300 million over the last year. Newfield Exploration Company plans to focus on core properties in the onshore U.S. and Southeast Asia.

Brazil Oil and Gas
Offshore Brazil is ground zero in the search for future energy supply and tens of billions will be spent here during the current decade to find oil and gas resources. General Electric (NYSE:GE) plans to take advantage of this growth and just announced a contract to supply offshore equipment to Petrobras (NYSE:PBR). The deal is worth $1.1 billion and includes sub-sea wellhead systems and other tools used for offshore exploration and development.

SEE: A Guide To Investing In Oil Markets

Exploration
The industry continued to rack up oil and gas discoveries across the globe. Eni (NYSE:E) reported finding oil in an exploration well on the Cape Three Points block located offshore Ghana. The Sankofa East-1X well found 240 feet of net oil pay in Cretaceous era sandstone formations at a depth of approximately 12,000 feet. This was the first crude oil discovery on the block for Eni and the company plans further tests to confirm the commercial viability of the find. Eni is the operator of the Cape Three Points block and owns a 47.2% share.

Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) reported another successful exploration well in the Carnarvon Basin in offshore Australia. The Satyr-2 well found 128 net feet of natural gas pay and was the company's fifteenth oil and gas discovery in Australia since 2009. The company plans to develop these resources to supply natural gas to the Gorgon Project, a liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility being built in Australia.

Chevron Corporation is the operator of the Gorgon Project and owns 47.3%. Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS-A, RDS-B) are also involved with this project and own 25% each.

SEE: Oil And Gas Industry Primer

Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE:APC) also sees potential in the South Pacific and estimates that its exploration properties in New Zealand may hold up to 150 million barrels of crude oil along with trillions of cubic feet of natural gas potential. The company has three offshore blocks and plans drilling in 2013 or 2014.

The Bottom Line
The energy sector saw a number of major deals announced last week and also reported exploration success in West Africa and Australia as the hunt for oil and gas continued in earnest.

At the time of writing, Eric Fox did not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article.

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