Posts Tagged ‘exploration’

McMoRan Exploration Co. (MMR) jumps on new Gulf find

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

McMoRan Exploration Co. (NYSE: MMR) shares climbed 11.5% to $18.48 Wednesday, after the oil producer said data from four wells pointed to the possibility of large accumulations of crude oil and natural gas in the Davy Jones prospect in the Gulf of Mexico. Shares in the company totaled 8.2 million, or about four times its normal daily volume average.

A news release announcing the find on June 29 indicated that McMoRan has actively pursued large ultra-deep targets located in the shallow waters of the GOM below the salt weld (i.e. listric fault) at depths generally below 25,000 feet since 2008. The data gained to date from four wells confirms McMoRan’s geologic model and the highly prospective nature of this emerging geologic trend.

Prior to McMoRan’s involvement in the ultra-deep, there had been only two wells drilled on the Shelf targeting these objectives; one did not reach its targeted depth and the other was outside of McMoRan’s focus area. Importantly, McMoRan’s results to date have indicated the potential for large accumulations of hydrocarbons at these deeper depths in the shallow waters of the GOM, which is expected to reduce the risk of future activities.

The Davy Jones offset appraisal well (Davy Jones No. 2), located on South Marsh Island Block 234, two and a half miles southwest of the Davy Jones No. 1 discovery well, was drilled to a total depth of 30,546 feet. As reported in February 2011, preliminary log results above 27,300 feet confirmed hydrocarbon bearing Wilcox sands with continuity across the major structural features of the Davy Jones prospect.

The release did not quote officials of the company.

McMoRan Exploration Co., headquartered in New Orleans, is an independent public company engaged in the exploration, development and production of natural gas and oil in the shallow waters of the GOM Shelf and onshore in the Gulf Coast area.

El Paso Corp. (EP) perks on higher earnings outlook

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

El Paso Corp. (NYSE: EP) shares climbed 7.2% to $20.35 Tuesday, after the natural-gas producer and pipeline operator hiked its 2011 earnings forecast and announced plans to split into two publicly traded companies. Volume for the stock was 27.9 million shares, dwarfing an all-day average of 10.4 million.

El Paso Corporation announced today that it is raising its financial and operational guidance for 2011 as results to date have exceeded expectations. Among the highlights: $1.00-$1.10 adjusted diluted earnings per share (Adjusted EPS); $2.3-$2.5 billion Adjusted Segment Earnings Before Interest and Taxes; $3.4-$3.6 billion Adjusted Segment Earnings Before Interest, Taxes and Depreciation, Depletion and Amortization (Adjusted Segment EBITDA) and; $2.2-$2.4 billion cash flow from operations.

El Paso CEO Doug Foshee, commented, “El Paso is on its way to another great year with improved earnings and operating cash flow. We are particularly excited about our drilling results in the Eagle Ford shale, where our oil production will grow significantly this year. We are also very pleased with the pace of dropdowns to El Paso Pipeline Partners, L.P. (NYSE: EPB). Our MLP has already issued more equity than we anticipated for all of 2011, and we will continue to accelerate our balance sheet improvement with the proceeds from future transactions.”

Moreover, El Paso announced today that its Board of Directors has granted initial approval of a plan to separate the company into two publicly traded businesses by year end 2011.

Following the completion of the proposed spinoff, El Paso Corporation will be comprised of El Paso’s Pipeline Group, its Midstream Group, and its general and limited partner interests in El Paso Pipeline Partners, L.P. It will be the premier pipeline company in North America, uniquely integrated in the major U.S. supply and market regions. With a planned 2012 annual dividend of $0.60 per share and a targeted low double-digit dividend growth rate, it is positioned to be a very attractive corporate yield investment.