Energy Biz Review: Exxon’s DOUBLE BIG Day, The Keystone Pipeline is BACK

Two big ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM) stories Friday, as the company sets a timetable for drilling in Russia, and agrees to development plans in the North Sea. Exxon and its Russian partner Rosneft will start drilling in Western Siberia next year, with the former owning one third of the development of tight oil reserves, and will also add its tech and expertise. In addition, the two firms will establish an Arctic research and design center for offshore development. At the same time, Exxon and its Norwegian partner Statoil (NYSE:STO), among others, submit formal development plans to the Norwegian authorities for the North Sea Svalin oil and gas field. The goal is the production of 100,000 barrels of energy equivalent by 2014; recoverable resources are forecast at 75 million barrels of energy equivalent.

TransCanada’s (NYSE:TRP) Keystone Pipeline is in the spotlight again, as the State Department files plans for a new supplemental environmental impact statement for the controversial project. The Pipeline was rejected on January 18th, so TRP worked out a new application offering a different route which goes around the Sand Hills region of Nebraska, that contains a large aquifer. The proposal’s comment period started Friday and continues until July 30.

Apache (NYSE:APA) reports that it has found “probably the best shale gas reservoir in the world”, lying in a remote area of northeast British Columbia. The gigantic field is said to contain as much as 48 tcf of recoverable natural gas. Further, APA claims that one of three bores it made in the area brought 21.3 mcf of gas per day during the first month of production, which the firm says is the most prolific shale gas test well it ever drilled.

Shares of ATP Oil & Gas (NASDAQ:ATPG) gain virtually 50 percent up to the close, with the only reason appearing to be that the mid-size firm filed suit against the U.S. government over the 2010 drilling suspension in the Gulf, in which it claimed that the ban cost it more than $68 million. This is an extreme reversal of the shares’ recent trend, that had them falling 75 percent year-to-date through Thursday.

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