Exxon Accused of Delayed Response to Break, Transatlantic’s New Cap Budget: Energy Business Update

Plains Exploration & Production Company (NYSE:PXP) will participate in exploration play offshore Morocco, making a cash payment of $15 million to farm-in to Pura Vida Energy’s 75 percent working interest in the 2.7 million-acre Mazagan permit area. Plains will earn a 52 percent-working interest, and act as operator in exchange for funding 100 percent of the costs of certain specified exploration activities, including a commitment to fund and drill two wells, and if agreed, several additional exploration operations, with a maximum of $215 million. The first exploration well will mostly target the Toubkal prospect and should be drilled in 2014.

Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) is reviewing a new report by the Transportation Department, in which investigators said that the company’s delayed response to a major pipeline break beneath the Yellowstone River in Montana caused an oil spill to be far worse than it otherwise might have been. The break in July 2011 fouled 70 miles of riverbank along the river, killing fish and wildlife and necessitating a huge, months-long cleanup. The report, given to The Associated Press by the office of United States Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), is the first time federal regulators have focused upon specific actions by Exxon as contributing to the severity of the spill.

Are these stocks a buy or sell? Let us help you decide.  Check out our Wall St. Cheat Sheet Stock Picker Newsletter now>>

The board of directors of TransAtlantic Petroleum (AMEX:TAT) okays a capital expenditure budget for the twelve months ending December 31st of 2013, of $131 million net to the firm. Contained in the budgeted spending is $101 million for drilling and completion expense, $19 million for seismic, and $11 million for infrastructure and other.

On Monday, Atlantic Power Corporation (NYSE:AT) finalized its previously reported purchase of Ridgeline Energy Holdings.  At the closing, the maturity date of the company’s 6 percent series D extendible convertible unsecured subordinated debentures  was automatically extended to December 31, 2019. In addition, the firm said that the approximately 300 MW Canadian Hills Wind project achieved its commercial operation date, and that Atlantic Power closed tax equity funding for the Project and fully repaid the Project’s $272 million construction loan.

Investing Insights: Will Eaton Corporation Continue to Power Up in 2013?