Energy Biz Roundup: Willbros Group Rebounds, BP Says Stop Whining

Shares of Willbros Group (NYSE:WG) rebound hugely off 52-week lows, as the oil services firm beats consensus ($388.5 million) with a preliminary fourth quarter revenue of $404.9 million, plus announces a new contract from Energy Transfer Partners to build a portion of its Red River Gathering pipeline. Willbros is somewhat putting off the filing of its 10-K, since it found a “material weakness existed in its controls”, but that hasn’t seemed to deflate the rally.

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Harvest Natural Resources (NYSE:HNR) makes an equity distribution agreement with Knight Capital America, and shares slide. The deal involves a market price offering of shares of its common stock, the aggregate value of which could amount to a sum as high as $75 million.

“It wasn’t that bad!” BP (NYSE:BP) says, regarding the purported damage to the Gulf of Mexico that could cost the oil giant as much as $17.6 billion in fines arising from the Clean Water Act. United States Magistrate Judge Sally Shushan orders BP to negotiate with government officials regarding the company’s accusations that exonerating evidence is being withheld. The meetings between regulators and BP attorneys are expected to last over the next two weeks.

And now a financial look at Total’s (NYSE:TOT) gas leak woes: the leak off the Scottish coast is costing the firm $2.5 million a day, with the cost of plugging it estimated to be as much as $200 million. Happily for Total, it earned around $10 billion in 2011, making either cost seem relatively small.

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To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Lawson at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at