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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for February delivery lost 80 cents to $77.49 on the New York Merc, while Brent for February lost $1.22 to $80.98 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $28.00 to WTI, unchanged. Natural gas for January lost 33 cents to $5.00. The TSX energy index lost 6.22 points to close at 235.09.
Craig Steinke and David Elliott's Namibian wildcatter, Reconnaissance Energy Africa Inc. (RECO), lost six cents to $1.36 on 805,800 shares. Investors found another lump of coal in their stockings today as Reconnaissance delayed the drilling of its next well into next year. The news comes mere weeks after the company announced that its previous well failed to find economic hydrocarbons, sending the stock plummeting to $1.85 from $3.55 on Nov. 9 (and lower since).
Just like last month, jargon was the wrapping paper of choice. The reason for the drilling delay, explained Reconnaissance, is a "sophisticated application of gravity techniques" that "greatly enhances [our] capacity to extrapolate structural geometry," with a "potentially significant near-term impact ... on risk mitigation and well path optimization." In other words, the company has been working on an enhanced geophysical survey in hopes of finding the best path for the wellbore. It needs more time to process the data. As a result, instead of spudding the well this month as planned, the new target is February.
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