Tag Archives: Baker Hughes

Baker Hughes (BHI) Earnings Expected to Dip

By Narrative Science Analysts are looking for decreased profit for Baker Hughes when the company reports its results for the second quarter on Friday, July 19, 2013. Baker reported profit of 100 cents a year ago, but the consensus estimate calls for earnings per share of 65 cents this time around. …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Forbes Markets

National Oilwell Varco's Welcomed Pause

By David Smith, The Motley Fool

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One of my favorite expressions (admittedly homemade) is that almost nothing in life is ever linear. No matter how ineluctable a trend appears to be, it’s likely to be characterized by a two-steps-forward-one-back, or vice versa, tendency.

So it appears to be with National Oilwell Varco , of late the darling of the oilfield services sector. On Friday, however, it was the purveyor of news that its first-quarter 2013 results had fallen well below the consensus expectations of those who watch it most closely.

For the quarter, the company checked in with per-share earnings — excluding one-time baggage — of $1.29 per share. The analysts had pegged the number at about $1.36 or $1.37 a share, depending on whose assessment you’re monitoring. Perhaps even more importantly, the number was $0.15 below the comparable year-ago metric. At $5.31 billion, revenues also slid in under expectations, which had lined up at $5.42 billion.

A mixed quarter
These shortfalls did not occur in a quarter in which the services group has languished and generally disappointed at earnings time. Indeed, the figurative chieftain of the group, Schlumberger , reported precisely a week earlier that it not only had topped the forecasts of the Wall Street seers, but in fact had also outdone the prior year’s results. Baker Hughes didn’t accomplish the latter feat, but it topped the analysts’ prognostications and even managed to radiate an air of optimism about the North American onshore picture, recently the bane of the group’s existence.

Does this mean National Oilwell Varco is done for? Washed up? Hardly. We’re still talking about a company that sits amid a vital portion of the energy industry and that will continue to enjoy bright prospects unless mankind summarily discontinues the production and consumption of oil and natural gas. The company’s simply displaying the two-steps-forward-one-back thing.

The individual units
Turning to the company’s three operating units, rig technology recorded more than a 16% revenue increase, year over year. At the same time, its operating profit was up a minuscule 1.1% from the first quarter of 2012. As such, the operating profit for the segment slid to 21.2%, from the year-ago 24.4%.

Revenues for the petroleum services and supplies segment were virtually flat, while its operating profit dipped by just under 25%. That combination caused its operating margin to tumble to 18.8%, from 22.8% as recently as the last year’s initial quarter.

The smallest of the three units, distribution and transmission, turned in a more than doubling of its revenues — 118%, to be precise — thanks to bevy of completed acquisitions, while its contribution to operating income was up slightly by more than 50%. As a result, that metric was about 43% lower year over year.

The metric that really counts
Now, having regurgitated all of those numbers for you, I’ll venture that they’re all of far less importance — except as they imply long-term trends, which they

Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

What's Driving the Natural Gas Rally?

By Arjun Sreekumar, The Motley Fool

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If you haven’t noticed, natural gas prices have soared over the past month and a half, helping reverse a lengthy decline that began in the summer of 2011. Gas futures in New York settled at a 20-month high on Friday, led by colder-than-expected weather that helped reduce stockpiles below the five-year average for the first time since 2011.

Cold weather erases stockpile surplus
March saw uncharacteristically strong demand for home heating because of unusually chilly temperatures. The trend is expected to continue, with MDA Weather Services, a provider of meteorological forecasts, predicting colder-than-usual temperatures in the north-central states and hotter-than-usual weather for Texas and the Southeast for next week.

In the week ended March 29, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that 94 billion cubic feet, or bcf, of natural gas were withdrawn from underground storage, exceeding Wall Street‘s consensus for a draw of 92 bcf. That pushed the amount of working gas in storage down to 1.687 trillion cubic feet, or tcf, a decrease of 779 bcf from a year earlier and 37 bcf below the five-year average.

In addition to bullish storage data, gas price gains accelerated following the release of Baker Hughes‘ rig count data, which indicated that the number of rigs drilling for natural gas fell by 14 to end the week at 375 — the lowest level since May 1999.  

According to Johan Spetz, an analyst at Goldman Sachs, gas prices will have to rise further in the second half of the year to spur production growth. According to his calculations, prices will need to average about $4.50 per thousand cubic feet in the latter half of the year to balance the market.  

Winners and losers
If prices do end up moving higher still, some low-cost natural gas producers stand to see further gains. One company worth keeping an eye on is Ultra Petroleum , a pure-play gas producer whose stock price closely tracks the price of natural gas; since mid-February, shares are up almost 30%.

Ultra was one of the lowest-cost producers last year, with all-in costs of roughly $3 per thousand cubic feet equivalent, less than half the industry average of $6.31. If gas prices rise further, its Pinedale Field and Marcellus assets will become even more profitable — a catalyst that’s sure to send the company’s stock higher.

Some companies are already reacting to the surge in gas prices by resuming or ramping up gas drilling. For instance, Encana announced in February that it plans to increase the number of rigs it has running in the Haynesville shale by three this year, because of the play’s improved profitability.

Others, however, are opting to wait till prices rise much higher before they divert their resources away from liquids-rich plays.

For instance, Chesapeake Energy recently announced that it has no plans to resume drilling in gassier plays and is instead opting to ramp up operations in the oil-rich Eagle Ford play. Similarly, …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Dresser-Rand Names New CFO

By Rich Smith, The Motley Fool

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Houston-based Dresser-Rand Group (NYS: DRC) has settled on a replacement for departing CFO Mark Baldwin. The company announced Wednesday that effective May 1, Jan Kees van Gaalen will fill the role.

Van Gaalen joins Dresser from oil-field services giant Baker Hughes, where he served in the capacity of company Treasurer. He is fluent in English, German, Dutch, Portuguese, French, and Spanish and earned an undergraduate degree from the prestigious Erasmus University in Rotterdam as well as a French MBA.

How much will Dresser pay for a CFO with such impeccable credentials? Not a pittance, certainly, but as much as you might think for a company of Dresser’s size. According to an 8-K filing on the subject, van Gaalen will receive an annual base salary of $402,000, plus:

  • an annual bonus targeting 60% of base salary
  • $700,000 in restricted stock units and stock options

“Luckily” for him, though, those stock grants appear to be growing in number at constant dollar value, as Dresser-Rand shares are caught in a downdraft. The shares shed 4.5% of their value yesterday, and are down a further 1.6% in Thursday trading at roughly $57.09 per share.

The article Dresser-Rand Names New CFO originally appeared on Fool.com.

Fool contributor Rich Smith has no position in any stocks mentioned, and neither does The Motley Fool. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Copyright © 1995 – 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Why I'm Buying Hi-Crush Partners

By Matt DiLallo, The Motley Fool

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You’re probably well aware of the fact that energy companies use vast amounts of water and sand in the fracking process. However, you might not know that sand is just one of many proppants used by the energy industry. The growing use of proppants has its producers piggybacking on the shale boom and in so doing, offering investors an interesting way to invest in the growth of oil and gas production.

As I personally dug deeper into the proppant industry I became convinced that this was a story worth owning. Last week I decided to commit some of my own capital to the industry and welcomed Hi-Crush Partners to my portfolio. I thought I’d share with you why I felt compelled to invest in this proppant producer.

What’s a proppant?
Proppants are used by the oil and gas industry to prop up the fractures in a well to enhance the flow of oil and gas out of the well. There are several types of proppants with Hi-Crush and US Silica Holdings both producing raw frack sand while CARBO Ceramics produces both a ceramic proppant and resin-coated sand.

Sand is the low-cost option for producers but it’s not always the best option. Because CARBO‘s ceramic proppants are of a uniform shape and size, it allows for more oil and gas to flow through. That being said, more than three-quarters of the proppant market is raw frack sand. It’s a market that’s projected to nearly double over the next 10 years from 16.7 million tons in 2011 to 31.5 million tons by 2021 as you can see from the following chart: 

Source: Hi-Crush Partners 

With frack sand being a volume market, I’d prefer to stick with the lowest-cost producer and Hi-Crush Partners is among the best in that department. 

Why Hi-Crush Partners?
Not only is Hi-Crush a pure-play, low-cost producer of frack sand, but I’m drawn to the fact that the company is structured as a master limited partnership. As such, Hi-Crush distributes most of its earnings back to unitholders. At last count that amounted to $1.90 in annual distributions and equated to a yield of nearly 10%.

For my money, Hi-Crush is a better bet because it offers me a simple pure play on the growing frack sand market. US Silica, on the other hand, is more diversified as it boasts over 200 products and 1,400 customers. While that might appeal to other investors, it wasn’t what I was looking for. Meanwhile, CARBO‘s products are not expected to take market share from raw frack sand so while its overall market will grow, it doesn’t appear that it will claim much, if any, of the raw frack sand market.

What’s the risk?
The biggest risk for Hi-Crush is customer concentration. One of its four main customers, Baker Hughes decided to bail on its contract last year. That sent shares of Hi-Crush down sharply and the loss of …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

This Week's Best and Worst Energy Stocks

By Dan Dzombak, The Motley Fool

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Oil prices were on the move this week as fear rose that the events in Cyprus would damage the European economy. For the week, Brent crude was down 1.14% to $107.66 and WTI crude was up 1.5% to $93.71. U.S. natural gas was up 1% to $3.93.

This week’s best two energy stocks
This week’s energy-stocks leader was Nordic American Tankers , up 18.2% to $11.15. While the stock had a one-month gain of 24.2%, it’s down 27% over the past 12 months. On Wednesday, the company announced that it had entered into an agreement to acquire a double-hull Suezmax tanker, its 21st ship, for $55 million. Shipping tanker companies were hammered the past five years as high rates caused a boom in shipbuilding, leading to a massive oversupply and a precipitous decline in dayrates. While Nordic American still continues to post losses, the company is in a good position if rates rebound, and Wednesday’s acquisition shows that management is confident in the future.

Second among oil and gas stocks today was Abraxas Petroleum, up 11.7% to $3.11. The exploration and production company reported 2012 earnings and an operational update last Friday. While the fourth-quarter results were mixed, CEO Bob Watson reiterated management’s guidance for 2013: “Strong production volumes in February and early March, along with incremental well performance and the efficiency gains in the Eagle Ford, give us confidence in our 2013 guidance of 4,900-5,200 boepd on a $70 million capex budget.”

This week’s worst energy stock
The worst performer on the week was Harvest Natural Resources , down 34.5% to $3.71. On Tuesday, Harvest filed with the SEC a notice that it will file its annual report late because of certain errors in its financial statements and said it will have to “revise and possibly restate its financial statements for certain periods in 2010, 2011, and 2012.” The company also said it expects a net loss of approximately $9.6 million, or $0.26 per diluted share. Scariest of all, the company announced that when it does file its annual report, “our auditors have informed us that their opinion will include a going concern qualification.” In layman’s terms, the auditors are going to include a warning that the company is not in a condition to continue operating for the following year. While Harvest Natural Resources has significant assets, with everything going on in Venezuela, it remains to be seen if they will ever be able to sell them.

Big news
There were a few big pieces of news in the U.S. energy space this week.

Schlumberger reported weaker-than-expected drilling activity in the U.S. during the first quarter. The news was further confirmed on Friday as the Baker Hughes rig count fell for the third time in the past month, now down to 1,746, 11.2% less than at the same time last year.

On Tuesday, Hess announced that it had sold 43,000 acres in South Texas for $265 million to …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Will Natural Gas Production Rise Along With Prices?

By Taylor Muckerman and Joel South, The Motley Fool

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March has been a tremendous month for natural gas prices. Up almost 30% since the beginning of the month, it’s time to start wondering if producers will begin to turn the rigs back on that were idled during 2012. Natural gas rig counts in the United States have decreased by 232 from a year ago according to the Baker Hughes  rig count, which the company produced on March 15. 

Are expectations being reached?
Earlier this week Schlumberger guided for a weaker than expected first quarter based on a slower uptick in rig utilization than it had predicted. That dragged the energy services sector down for a couple of days, but Motley Fool analyst Taylor Muckerman feels strongly about Halliburton‘s fracking expertise and exposure to the North American market. If natural gas’ selling price continues to rise, then this could be the lowest you see Halliburton trading for quite some time.

What else does Halliburton have going for it?
Domestic oil and gas service companies have taken a hit in the recent past due to a slowdown in the natural gas drilling boom of the last couple of years. As this market looks to rebound, investors would be wise to consider Halliburton, one of the top companies in the business and one of those most in tune with the domestic market. To access The Motley Fool‘s new premium research report on this industry stalwart, simply click here now and learn everything you need to know about how Halliburton is positioning itself both at home and abroad.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Schlumberger And Oil Services Majors Are Getting Drilled By Weak N. American Market

By Trefis Team, Contributor

Quick Take Schlumberger’s CEO says that North American drilling activity has been slow through Q1 and the pricing environment remains challenging. The firm’s U.S. Gulf of Mexico activity was also temporarily hit by maintenance work on deepwater rigs Schlumberger is slowing down its business in Venezuela due to weak receivables collections. While there could be some short-term impacts, particularly on the firm’s Q1 earnings, we don’t see any of these developments impacting the firm’s long-term outlook. We believe that other large oilfield firms Baker Hughes and Halliburton will also be hit by slower U.S. drilling. Business remains tough in the North American drilling landscape according to oilfield services bellwether Schlumberger. Speaking at an industry event on Monday, CEO Paal Kibsgaard mentioned that a slower than expected recovery in drilling activity and weak pricing have resulted in an uncertain outlook in the North American market. He also indicated that Schlumberger is reducing its work in Venezuela as it is struggling to collect due payments from oil companies in the region. While we believe that these developments could hit Schlumberger’s Q1 earnings, we remain bullish on the firm’s long-term prospects thanks to its global footprint and growing offshore capabilities. We have a price estimate of $89 for Schlumberger, a 20% premium over its current market price. Lower North American Activity Could Hit All U.S. Oil Field Service Cos. …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at Forbes Latest

Natural Gas Prices Surging: Invest Here?

By Joel South and Taylor Muckerman, The Motley Fool

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Natural gas prices are trading up around 30% this month, with April futures nipping at the $4-per-million-BTU mark not seen since the end of 2011. The late winter weather helped lower the weekly storage level by 18.5% year over year, but should we expect prices to move back toward $3 per million BTU once seasonal spring weather sets in?

Not likely. With record low gas prices in 2012, natural gas producers started withdrawing capital away from drilling natural gas wells and shutting down or overhauling rigs to tackle oil liquids plays. Total natural gas land rigs have been diminishing sharply since October, with March’s total gas rig count down 34.9% year over year, according to Baker Hughes.

With both small and large gas players moving capital away from dry gas wells for the past year and a half, gas prices should increase for two reasons. The first is entry time to recommit to drilling gas wells. It takes an incredible amount time to deal with labor, rig, and lease holding contracts. According to Ultra Petroleum Chairman and CEO Mike Watford, once capital is removed, gas prices become sticky, since companies are hesitant to recommit money and secure new contracts and get new drilling permits until natural gas prices are high enough to support re-entry for the long term.

Second, outside the view of low-cost natural gas producers, most E&P companies are focusing production on oil plays, and with crude prices ensuring healthy profits, no incentive remains for new entrants into the U.S. natural gas market. Natural gas insiders and analysts believe prices will stabilize between $4 and $5 dollars in North America for the long term, which will supply healthy margins for low-cost natural gas producers.

In the following video, Motley Fool energy analyst Joel South speaks with Taylor Muckerman about a few of his favorite low-cost natural gas players in this space.

With the swelling of the global middle class, energy consumption will skyrocket over the next few decades, so long-term investors know that you want exposure to this space now. We’ve picked one incredible natural gas company that presents a rare “double-play” investment opportunity today. We’re calling it “The One Energy Stock You Must Own Before 2014,” and you can uncover it today, totally free, in our premium research report. Click here to read more.

The article Natural Gas Prices Surging: Invest Here? originally appeared on Fool.com.

Joel South and Taylor Muckerman have no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Range Resources and Ultra Petroleum, owns shares of Ultra Petroleum, and has options on Ultra Petroleum. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don’t all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Will Our Energy Be Stamped "Made in China," Too?

By Matt DiLallo, The Motley Fool

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Recently, I’ve been wondering if oil and gas asset sales to national oil companies have the potential to jeopardize our dreams of energy independence. In the past couple of years, we’ve seen domestic energy producers such as Devon Energy and Chesapeake Energy rake in billions of dollars by selling a piece of future oil and gas production. It’s becoming pretty clear that more deals are on the way. 

Probably feeling the pressure of competition following Chesapeake’s $1.02 billion Mississippian Lime joint venture with rival Sinopec, China National Petroleum Company’s chairman recently said that it’s currently studying whether it, too, will join the fray. As that nation’s largest oil company it has the financial firepower to pursue a big deal. Overall, Chinese explorers have an estimated $40 billion to spend on locking up production.

One of the issues is that these companies could be bidding for our production assets with an unfair competitive advantage, as they can use Chinese government loans to stake their claim. Most of the U.S. deals involve having these companies simply buying joint venture stakes in production assets, with Chesapeake’s sale involving a 50% stake in 850,000 net acres. Devon also recently completed a transaction with Sinopec totaling $2.5 billion in which it sold a 33% interest in three emerging energy plays, including the Mississippian. The company uses these to minimize exploration costs by de-risking the acreage and increasing exploration activity. A larger looming issue will be when a Chinese national bids for control of a U.S. oil and gas producer.

The question is, what are the Chinese and other foreign buyers after? It’s not to lock up supply and ship it back to China, as instead the production will be sold in the states. The profits, on the other hand, will eventually make their way back to the mainland, which can then be used to purchase oil and gas on the open market. However, that’s probably not the real reason behind these deals. Instead, it’s more about the technology being used to unlock our vast shale resource.

You see, China has its own untapped resource potential, as the country is believed to hold the world’s third largest recoverable natural gas reserves. The problem is that most of these reserves are trapped in shale: 

To best understand how to tap its own reserves, the country’s oil and gas companies are investing in the U.S. companies that have harnessed the technology to unlock our shale. Because our assets are cheaper on a relative basis and our political climate is stable, it makes the most sense to invest directly in U.S. production and learn firsthand.

In conjunction with a growing number of asset transactions, U.S. oil-field service companies with expertise in fracking are setting up shop in mainland China. Both Baker Hughes and Halliburton have set up strategic partnerships with Chinese companies. Baker Hughes is setting up a research center for unconventional energy as …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

3 Things to Watch When Heckmann Reports

By Matt DiLallo, The Motley Fool

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Environmental-services company and frack-water treatment specialist Heckmann is scheduled to report financial results for its 2012 fourth quarter and full year on March 11. As the first report since closing its merger with Power Fuels on Nov. 30, this is an important report for the company, and investors need to pay the closest attention to three specific areas.

1. Integration with Power Fuels
The merger with Power Fuels is a transformative deal in more ways than one. One of the biggest changes is that Heckmann founder Richard Heckmann handed over the CEO reins and a significant stake in the company to Power Fuels CEO and owner Mark Johnsrud. Having built Power Fuels from the ground up, he would appear to be the right man for the job. However, the new Heckmann is a much bigger operation to manage, so it will be important to see whether the integration has caused any indigestion.

The other new face here is CFO Jay Parkinson, who’d been the company’s investment banker at Jefferies. The good thing is that he knows the company’s story better than most. The question is whether he can tell that story in a way that investors will both understand and embrace. 

2. The numbers
Heckmann’s financials are muddied by its acquisition growth model. The company needs to work a bit harder to show clean financials that investors can clearly understand. On average, analysts are expecting the company to lose $0.07 a share in 2012, with consensus of a $0.04 loss in the fourth quarter. However, what’s more important is the true picture of the company’s financial health.

That could prove tricky, as analysts have become increasingly more bearish on the company, given what happened with drilling in the country last quarter. For example, oilfield service providers such as Halliburton called 2012 “challenging” and noted a significant drop in rig activity, especially toward the end of the year. Baker Hughes echoed these sentiments, noting on its conference call that the it “experienced a reduction in activity as rig counts declined sharply toward the end of the quarter” because customers “[shut] down early for the holiday period.” The question is, how much did that effect Heckmann’s business in the quarter?

Jefferies, of all places, recently downgraded the stock to “hold” from “buy.” With the well-documented fourth-quarter slowdown in drilling activity as context, it sees reasons for Heckmann to be hit by that sluggish activity and sees water-service pricing being challenged. Heckmann investors need to watch whether the company’s new Bakken business and other liquids-rich operations are able to overcome weaknesses elsewhere in its footprint. 

3. Business outlook
The most important area to pay attention to is the company’s business outlook. There are a lot of questions I hope the company can answer. First, are there any more acquisitions in the pipeline? More importantly, given its near nationwide footprint, is the combined company now able to secure more businesses by …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Simba Energy Boosts Its Technical Team

By Business Wirevia The Motley Fool

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Simba Energy Boosts Its Technical Team

VANCOUVER, British Columbia–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Simba Energy Inc. (“Simba” or the “Company”) (TSXV: SMB; Frankfurt: GDA; OTCQX: SMBZF), the pan-African oil & gas explorer, is pleased to announce two key appointments to the Company’s technical team in London: Mr. Oleg-Serguei Schkoda as Vice President, Exploration & Project Management and Ms. Katia Russo, Geoscientist.

Mr. Schkoda, 42, is an upstream oil & gas executive with an 18 year career that has spanned the globe with postings in Europe, North America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. He has acquired a wide range of oil & gas expertise from the early stages of exploration to acquiring seismic to drilling to production. In particular, Oleg has extensive operational experience throughout Africa.

Holding a Masters in Mining Exploitation (Brussels) and Petroleum Geology (Nancy, France), Oleg first worked as a reservoir engineer for Petrofina’s exploration department before completing a Master of Petroleum Engineering at the IFP (Institut Français du Pétrole) in Paris.

He has also worked for Schlumberger and was a reservoir specialist for Baker Hughes. Most recently, Oleg was Vice President for Cougar Drilling Solutions, a Canadian directional drilling service company active in Africa.

Mr. Schkoda is fluent in several languages including English and French.

Ms. Katia Russo received a First Class BEng (Hons) in Petroleum Engineering from London South Bank University and is completing a MSc in Petroleum Engineering from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. She also holds a BA (Hons) in Management from West London University.

Katia has previously worked as a Reservoir Engineer for Petrophase’s Enhanced Oil Recovery Projects.

Mr. Hassan Hassan, Managing Director of Operations for Simba, remarked:

“These key additions to our technical management team put the Company in a better position to implement its aggressive exploration and farm-out strategy. Our primary objective is to develop further our Kenya and Chad concessions that continue to attract attention from a variety of international oil & gas companies.”

About Simba Energy:

Simba Energy Inc. is an international oil & gas exploration company focused on onshore Pan-African opportunities. The Company holds a diversified portfolio of 100% (or majority of) interests in six prospective oil & gas exploration concessions in Kenya, Chad, Guinea, Liberia, Ghana and Mali.

In addition to its 100% interest in Kenya‘s Block 2A, …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Baker Hughes Preview: Cost Cutting And Overseas Operations In The Spotlight

By Trefis Team, Contributor Oil field services major Baker Hughes, is set to release its Q4 earnings on January 23. Like most large oil field service companies, the firm’s results have been set back by a weak North American market and high input costs over the past few quarters.
Source: FULL ARTICLE at Forbes Latest