3 Energy Stock Stories To Spark Savvy Investment Chatter

Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDSA): Closing price $64.51

Vice President Andy Calitz of the Shell-led venture LNG Canada said in an interview that energy firms are pressing British Columbia to clear up ambiguity regarding a possible tax on exports of liquefied natural gas from Western Canada that is deterring price negotiations with overseas buyers. The provincial government is considering a tax on future LNG exports earmarked for a so-called “Prosperity Fund” to lessen its debt load, but it yet to say how such a tax will be levied and at which rate, unsettling companies who want to build LNG terminals in the province. Calitz observed that “Those details need to emerge. We need to know with certainty about the level and the stability of that [tax regime] by 2014,″ when Shell and its partners expect to make a final investment decision on the project.

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TransCanada Corp. (NYSE:TRP): Closing price $45.31

According to a study published Thursday from the energy-focused information and research company IHS CERA, Keystone XL would not contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. The research found that the addition of the new pipeline connecting Canadian oil sands fields with the United States Gulf Coast would not make a substantial difference in emissions, because American refineries would obtain similar crude from Venezuela or elsewhere. Output, processing and transportation of Venezuelan heavy crude causes approximately the same greenhouse gas emissions as oil sands crude, said the report. A prior release from IHS CERA said that “Keystone XL would offer an alternative to Venezuelan and Mexican crudes.”

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Transocean Ltd. (NYSE:RIG): Closing price $48.54

Vice President Terry Bonno of marketing said Thursday that the offshore drilling contractor Transocean Ltd added close to $2 billion to a near-$28-billion backlog of work with extensions for two ultra-deepwater rigs in the Gulf of Mexico for Chevron Corp. (NYSE:CVX). The Discoverer Clear Leader, which costs $566,000 per day until September 2014, had its lease extended four years at $590,000, said Bonno. The Discoverer Inspiration contract, now at a per diem rate of $521,000 until March 2015, was extended for five years at $585,000. Bonno commented that “They have a lot of work to do in the Gulf of Mexico, and it certainly makes sense for both of us.”

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