There was plenty to talk about concerning news from the Texas energy industry this past week. News stories that developed last week included mostly mixed updates from Texas-based companies. We’ll take a closer look into stories from Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM), the Clean Power Plan and Miller Energy Resources Inc. to name a few.
It appears Exxon Mobil Corp. is unfazed by recent budget cutbacks as they gear up their production in Beaumont, Texas. This increase in production is taking place amid the 33% drop in revenue the company experienced last quarter. Exxon Mobil Corporation’s focus on light crude production taking place at the Beaumont refinery will benefit the 2,000 workers who are employed there currently. It is said that the barrels per day increase will be by around 20,000.
Some negative news did come out of Houston last week with Miller Energy Resources Inc. being charged with accounting fraud. The SEC formally charged this energy company, along with its former CFO and current standing COO, last week. The SEC stated that they were engaged in inflating property values that caused fraudulent financial reports to be created. Not long after the news was revealed the company announced the resignation of the COO David Hall. The U.S. Securities Exchange Commission will have an ongoing investigation concerning the financial documents.
There is another ongoing investigation. However, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is conducting this one. According to a preliminary report, a rupture of the Tennessee Gas Pipeline in Falfurrias earlier in the week negatively affected the air. The comprehensive report claimed that thousands of pounds of potentially dangerous gases became part of the airstream due to the rupture. What company will be held responsible for this situation? Kinder Morgan Inc. (NYSE: KMI) could ultimately be responsible for this unfortunate event. Since the Houston-based company purchased this pipeline in May 2012.
Now it is time for some positive news that appeared in the headlines recently. A group of energy companies are said to support the goals President Obama has proposed with the Clean Power Plan. The group includes NRG Energy Inc. (NYSE: NRG), Calpine Corp. (NYSE: CPN), and CPS Energy. Although it has been stated that NRG has not given full, unequivocal support because they are still reviewing specifics proposed in the plan. Dynegy (NYSE: DYN), which is also based in Houston, is currently choosing to abstain from any official stand until they have reviewed the plan thoroughly.
Finally, another positive development came from Gulf Coast Western that announced that they are now pumping 270 barrels of oil per day near San Antonio. This Dallas-based oil company hired Texron Operating LLC to drill for them just a couple of hours south of San Antonio. Texron has drilled to a 12,700 feet depth to reach the “Vicksburg Sands” formation. This project is currently meeting their positive expectations.