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On Friday, a consortium led by Gazprom Neft (GZPFY.PK) formally began construction of the South Stream gas pipeline that will feed European markets. Guests such as the Russian President Vladimir Putin, Executive Chairman Alexei Miller of Gazprom and the ENI (NYSE:E) chief executive attended a launch ceremony at the Russkaya compressor station near the Black Sea resort town of Anapa. At the festivities, two sections of the pipeline were symbolically welded together in what Miller called “an historical event” which represents the uniting of the Russian and European gas transport systems.
Marathon Petroleum Corp. (NYSE:MPC) coverage was begun at JPMorgan with a Neutral, and a price target of $62. In doing so, the analyst said that “We believe the MPC portfolio offers attractive exposure to the US Mid-Continent and Gulf Coast regions, investments designed to position the portfolio for an evolving North American crude production outlook, expanding Gulf Coast presence upon closure of the Texas City acquisition, and a midstream MLP that may serve as a source of additional value capture via asset dropdowns. However, we believe the current share price largely reflects underlying value, potentially limiting investors to the generous cash returns rather than capital appreciation, supporting our Neutral rating.”