|mib - Donnerstag, 1. Februar 2001 - 19:26|
| Kauf von 200 Stk. Edge Petroleum zu 8.50 Eu in Berlin. |
Im Zuge der weiteren Diversifizierung des Auslandsdepots und der Konzentration auf den nordamerikanischen Erdgassektor habe ich heute nach Apache einen weiteren sehr guenstig bewerteten Titel ins Auslandsdepot aufgenommen. Bei Edge Petroleum kommt es auch zu der Kombination von hoeherem erzielten Preis durch teilweisen Wegfall der hedges und einer Erhoehung der Produktion. Es wird nur eine relativ kleine Position eingegangen, da bei solch kleinen, mehr spekulativen Titeln natuerlich mit positiven wie negativen Ueberraschungen zu rechnen ist. Wahrscheinlich wird in naechster Zeit noch ein dritter Titel aus diesem Sektor zur Risikostreuung aufgenommen werden.
Sollte jemand auch in diesen Titel einsteigen wollen, dann definitiv in USA kaufen!!!!
Gruss - Mib
|mib - Donnerstag, 1. Februar 2001 - 19:36|
| Gas News |
Thu, 01 Feb 2001, 11:16am EST
U.S. Natural Gas Costs Seen Even Higher Next Winter, AGA Says
By Bradley Keoun
New York, Feb. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Homeowners across the nation who are feeling the pain of bloated natural gas bills may face even higher costs next winter, because production won't rise fast enough to meet demand and replenish low inventories, according to the American Gas Association, an industry group.
Drilling for natural gas, now at record levels, isn't expected to yield enough new supplies to bring costs down by next winter, said D.N. Rose, the AGA's chairman. Demand is rising as more homes use gas to heat and power plants burn more gas to meet the nation's growing need for electricity.
``They're paying more this winter, they'll likely pay more this summer,'' and they'll pay more next winter, Rose, who is also the CEO of Salt Lake City gas utility Questar Gas Co., said in an interview.
Homeowners this winter are expected to pay 70 percent more than last winter to heat their homes with gas, because of higher rates and because consumption soared during November and December, the coldest such period in more than a century of records.
Schools, hospitals, churches and businesses that heat with gas also are feeling the pinch.
The AGA said it agrees with forecasts by the U.S. Energy Department that residential natural gas prices in 2001 will average $9.83 per thousand cubic feet, up from $7.73 in 2000. Gas in 2002 will average $9.42, the government said.
Prices jumped during 2000 as demand for natural gas rose 5.2 percent while supplies from domestic wells and Canadian pipelines increased just 1.3 percent.
Last year's higher prices prompted a surge in drilling for new wells. There were 879 gas rigs operating in the U.S. on Jan. 26, 40 percent more than a year ago, according to Baker Hughes Inc. in Houston.
Still, it can take six to 18 months for drilling to lead to supply increases, said Roger Cooper, executive vice president for policy and planning at the AGA. That lag time could be stretched out even further because drillers are plagued by a ``shortage of rigs and a shortage of personnel,'' he said.
The Energy Department expects gas supplies to rise as much as 7 percent this year, higher than demand growth of 2.9 percent. Still, natural gas utilities will have to buy an unusually large amount of gas this summer to fill up storage reservoirs in time for next winter.
U.S. inventories of natural gas in underground storage are 30 percent below year-ago levels, the AGA said yesterday in a weekly report. Analysts expect inventories by the end of winter to fall to the lowest levels since the group began tracking them in 1993.
``Even though we've got a lot of expansion in production, there's enough new demand in our forecast that it's not possible both to meet all of the new consumption requirements plus build up stocks all the way back to normal,'' said Dave Costello, an Energy Department economist.
More Plants Due
Gas utilities will have to vie for the fuel this summer with electric utilities, which burn it in power plants to provide electricity for air conditioners. A host of new power plants that use gas are expected to start up this summer, boosting demand even more.
``The growth of gas-fired power plants is going to be a challenge for the industry,'' Cooper said. ``That's the reality.''
The AGA supports a bill expected to be introduced next week by Senate Republicans that would give gas producers greater freedom to drill for gas supplies on protected land, such as in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, the Rocky Mountains and Alaska. The bill also would give greater access to companies that want to build pipelines to remote gas-producing areas.
``We've got to have access to those areas where the geologists tell us are the best places for drilling,'' said David Parker, president of the AGA. ``We need more supplies of the commodity itself. More supply in the marketplace means lower prices for our customers.''
Winning Public Support
This winter's climb in prices may help garner public support for such energy policies, which were a linchpin of U.S. President George W. Bush's campaign.
``It's created an environment of public awareness, which we look at as an opportunity,'' Parker said, noting that gas utilities' profits would grow as demand grows. Still, it may be ``seven or eight years before gas flows into the market'' from Alaska.
The AGA, based in Washington, represents 185 natural gas utilities, which provide natural gas to more than 50 million homes in 50 states.
|mib - Donnerstag, 2. August 2001 - 04:15|
| bitte anschnallen - es geht los! |
das sind schon gewaltig gute Zahlen von EPEX!!!
|mib - Freitag, 16. November 2001 - 01:24|
| Thursday November 15, 10:21 am Eastern Time |
SOURCE: Edge Petroleum Corporation
Edge Chairman, President and CEO Releases Letter to Shareholders Addressing Recent Events
HOUSTON, Nov. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Edge Petroleum Corporation (Nasdaq: EPEX - news)
We are writing this letter to you, our shareholders and other interested parties, to hopefully give you a better perspective of three recent events involving our company. It is our intent to tell you what we know and why we have made the decisions we have thus far on the Edge, et al lawsuit against BNP in Duval County, Texas, the title issue at North LaCopita, and the change in auditor from Deloitte & Touche to Arthur Andersen.
Edge, et al Lawsuit against BNP in Duval County, Texas
On Monday, November 5, 2001, we were informed that Edge had received an adverse judgment from a state district court in Duval County, Texas. As will be addressed more fully hereafter, we want to assure you first, that we are in the process of securing a bond or other security that will enable us to supersede the judgment pending appeal. We are very optimistic about our chances of obtaining the bond or other security and overturning this adverse judgment on appeal.
While it would be very difficult to recount everything that has transpired, as legal proceedings are complex and intricate, we would like to give you an overview of what has happened, and what we are doing. We would like to start with an explanation of why we initially filed suit. In 1999, Edge, together with two other oil companies, had targeted a certain area in Duval County that we thought was prospective. We acquired leases in this area and found a party interested in joining the Edge group in drilling what we called the Slick Prospect. That party, BNP Petroleum Corporation, is based in Corpus Christi, Texas. We sold our leases to BNP pursuant to written agreements which obligated BNP to drill an initial well to a depth of 8,100 feet or to a depth sufficient to test the Upper Wilcox (Slick) Sand. After reaching total depth, BNP was required to furnish us with all well information and data obtained and used by BNP in making their decision to either complete, deepen, or plug and abandon the well. At that point, Edge, et al would have 24 hours in which to make an election to re-acquire an interest in the leases, and to participate in the proposed operation or elect to go nonconsent.
The initial well was drilled by BNP, and on December 24, 1999, members of Edge's team were advised by BNP that the target depth had been reached. Our team was told in a phone conversation with BNP that they would be proposing to complete the well at a shallower interval, around 7,500 feet which to us seemed implausible at the time, given the high probability from our initial assessment that the zone would be nonproductive. Further, we were advised that the completion would be accomplished so as to preclude deepening the well. Since our primary objectives in this area were deeper than the zone in which BNP proposed to complete, our team was not enthusiastic about BNP's proposed completion. BNP argued at trial that our team verbally ``opted out'' prior to receiving their formal notice of intent, which our team said was definitely not the case. Irrespective of the alleged ``verbal opt out,'' it was undisputed that later we received BNP's written Election Notice in the afternoon of December 24 formally advising us of the fact that we had 24 hours to make our election as to whether we intended to join BNP in their proposed completion operations at 7,500 feet. On Christmas morning, December 25, Edge formally signed the notice advising BNP that we were not going to participatein their proposed completion attempt. Our partners made the same decision. Under the contract, this meant we would forfeit our interest in the prospect. What we did not know at the time we made our response to BNP was that they had actually decided to drill deeper and not complete the well as they had proposed. In fact, by the time we had made our decision, signed and returned our Election Notice declining to participate in a completion at 7,500 feet, BNP was already at a new depth of 8,400 feet and had found gas-bearing sands. None of this was disclosed to us or the other partners before Edge signed its Election Notice.
When we later learned that BNP had not completed the well as they had proposed to us, we immediately contacted legal counsel. An outside attorney advised us, and so testified in court, that he had never seen anything like this in his 26+ years of legal practice. Based on this and our desire to protect the company, a suit was filed in late February 2000, in the South Texas County of Duval where the property is located. We were required to file suit in Duval County because venue was mandatory in the county where the property is situated.
At the urging of BNP, the Judge set the case for trial in June of 2000, only three and half months after it was filed. Furthermore, when the time came for trial, the Judge denied our request for a trial by jury. Immediately before jury selection was about to begin (the venire panel had been sworn in), BNP claimed they were surprised that a jury was going to decide the case. This argument was accepted by the Judge even though the attorneys for both sides had held discussions the week before with the court manager concerning when jury selection would commence. Instead, the Judge granted BNP's request that he hear the case himself. In addition, during the pendency of the trial, our lead counsel was diagnosed with terminal cancer, which forced us to postpone the trial and secure new counsel. Nevertheless, with new counsel, we believe we were very effective in our presentation of the evidence at trial. Our complaint was based on the events which transpired on December 24, and also our understanding that the entire transaction, in which we sold the leases to BNP to begin with, could be rescinded.
A few months after our suit was filed, BNP found a purported buyer who contracted to purchase the leases in question, subject to a myriad of ``outs,'' one of which was that Edge, et al unilaterally dismiss all claims. We offered to try to work with the buyer to allow the sale to proceed and escrow the sales proceeds, but when Edge, et al refused to unilaterally dismiss its claims, the buyer opted not to consummate the sale. This served as a part of a counter-claim that BNP filed against Edge, et al for tortiously interfering with the contract of sale.
In ruling against us as the Judge did in his judgment, he necessarily found that not only was Edge not entitled to recover on its claims, but also that our claims were not even ``colorable'' claims brought in good faith. The Judge found this, notwithstanding the trial testimony of a recently retired Texas Supreme Court Justice to the effect that not only were our claims against BNP reasonable, but ``it wasn't even a close call.''
We believe the Judge's rulings are in error, and we further believe that many aspects of his ruling are contrary to the overwhelming evidence that was presented at trial. We are presently preparing papers to ask the court to reconsider its ruling. If this does not succeed, we are fully prepared to appeal this matter to the Fourth Court of Appeals in San Antonio, Texas. We are optimistic we will see the judgment overturned.
During the pendency of the appeal, we do not believe that the bond or other security we will have to file will have any material financial impact on our planned 2001 and 2002 capital expenditure program, which we believe can be funded from cash flow from operations. Therefore, you should be assured that while the adverse judgment is indeed unfortunate, at the present time, we believe that our expected drilling programs will continue essentially unaffected.
Title Issue - North LaCopita
Edge, together with three other companies, drilled four productive gas wells on a tract of land in Starr County, Texas which had been leased to us by Sybil Neblett in 1997. Our group had a title opinion prepared and curative work done on the tract in the usual and customary manner. A prior lease which was taken in 1944 by ExxonMobil's predecessor covering this land and other non-adjoining lands to the south was not properly indexed in the County Clerk's records in Starr County, Texas. The grantor's name was misspelled on the grantor-grantee index. Therefore, the 1944 ExxonMobil lease was not recognized by both a prior oil company that had leased the Neblett acreage in the early to mid-1990s and again by our contract landman who took the Neblett lease for Edge in 1997. It was also missed by the landman who prepared the title run sheets and the title attorney who rendered the drillsite title opinion on this tract for Edge, et al. We believe that if the landmen and title attorney had been more careful in their examination of the records and other materials, they could have caught this unfortunate error. Nonetheless, it happened and Edge, et al relied on their title work in proceeding to drill the wells. Title to the Neblett lease was warranted to Edge by a general title warranty in the Neblett lease.
We had drilled and completed three wells and just reached total depth and logged a fourth well on this lease when we became aware of the title issue from another party. Our investigation revealed that (1) the acreage under the Neblett lease was also covered by the old 1944 ExxonMobil lease and (2) that our acreage was still held by production and therefore, subject to the prior lease in that it was still part of a much larger producing area non-adjacent to and off of our Neblett lease. In light of this, we promptly notified ExxonMobil of the problem and scheduled a meeting with them to discuss the matter more thoroughly. In the meantime, Edge, et al elected to suspend completion of the No. 4 well until this problem was resolved. ExxonMobil was very appreciative, as you might expect, of our communication to them on this matter. Recognizing there was clearly a title examination mistake or oversight by the contract land broker and possibly the title attorney, we concluded at that time that we would not challenge the validity of the 1944 ExxonMobil lease. However, we emphasized to ExxonMobil that our intentions were completely honorable in taking a lease from the Neblett's and subsequently drilling the four wells. In our opinion, we were a good faith trespasser and there was absolutely nothing sinister about what Edge, et al did.
Edge, et al made a farmin proposal to ExxonMobil in an attempt to retain some ownership in this new field complex. ExxonMobil rejected this proposal. We then made an offer to buy this asset from ExxonMobil for an amount that was based on a value assessment of what we believe are the remaining reserves. We provided ExxonMobil our maps, seismic, well logs, pay counts, reserve estimates, production and the associated decline curves, and investment to date in the complex for them to evaluate the merits of our offer. This was unusual because it is very rare for an acquirer to furnish to a potential seller everything they used to evaluate and determine what to bid for an asset. Because of the specific circumstances pertaining to this asset, we felt it was important to assure ExxonMobil that there was not a lot of hidden value that Edge was trying to capture at ExxonMobil's expense. Last week we were informed that ExxonMobil rejected this offer as well.
We have now requested that ExxonMobil consider ratifying the old unit that includes the Neblett acreage and other leases, as opposed to keeping their leasehold acreage separate. If they do that, then Edge, et al will end up with slightly more than 23% ownership in the field with ExxonMobil as operator and ExxonMobil would receive their share of net revenues on a unit basis. At this time, we do not know what Exxon/Mobil's response to this request will be.
In the event this effort is rejected as well, Texas law provides that we will be able to recover our reasonable costs of drilling, completing and operating the wells from the production proceeds, which would include retaining previously received revenues from the wells. We believe payout has recently been achieved in this complex and therefore, do not expect significant dollars to change hands. However, if Edge, et al is deemed not to be a good faith trespasser, which we believe to be unlikely, then the sunk costs would not be recoverable. If these issues are not voluntarily resolved by the parties, they will be determined by legal proceedings. In August of this year, ExxonMobil advised that they intended to take over operations on the Neblett wells and entered the property. In response, GMT, the operator of the wells, filed a request for temporary restraining order and temporary injunction in the District Court in Starr County. ExxonMobil voluntarily agreed to allow GMT to continue to operate pending resolution of the title issues provided the proceeds of production were escrowed. In addition, ExxonMobil filed counter-claims against all of the owners of the Neblett lease including Edge, seeking to quiet title to the property, remove cloud on title for conversion of the hydrocarbons and for trespass and punitive damages. Edge has answered these claims and will vigorously defend its position that any trespass which may have occurred was in good faith.
As a final bit of information, ExxonMobil has informed Edge that they have on several occasions, used the same title attorney we did, and that this could have happened to anybody in the business. In addition, the Neblett's understand that they warranted the lease to Edge and recognize their liability to return any lease payments and royalty overpayments under the general title warranty in their lease.
As of yet, we have not taken any action against the landmen, the title attorney or the landowner, but reserve the right to do so. However, it is our sincere hope that a resolution to the problem will be worked out to the satisfaction of all parties.
Change of Auditors from Deloitte & Touche to Arthur Andersen
Over the course of Edge's 2000 audit and first quarter 2001 review, we became concerned about what we perceived as a high level of staff turnover and lack of upstream E&P industry experience in the Deloitte & Touche team assigned to the Edge account. After discussion with Edge's Audit Committee, a review of alternatives was undertaken resulting in the recommendation to change independent auditors to Arthur Andersen from Deloitte & Touche. As noted in Edge's 8-K, filed on October 10, 2001, none of the reports of Deloitte & Touche on the financial statements of Edge during their engagement contained an adverse opinion or disclaimer of opinion or was qualified or modified as to uncertainty, audit scope or accounting principles. Further, during the last two fiscal years and subsequent interim periods to the date of the 8-K filing, there were no disagreements between the Company and Deloitte & Touche on any matter of accounting principles, or auditing scope or procedure.
Andersen is the worldwide leader in oil and gas accounting and related advisory services. In particular, their exploration and production related practice is headquartered here in Houston. The team which is assigned to Edge has considerable oil and gas experience, is focused entirely on the upstream segment of the broader oil and gas sector and is expected to be a value-added partner for our company.
John W. Elias
Statements in this document, including but not limited to those relating to the BNP litigation, its outcome, effects and timing, ability to obtain a bond, overturning the judgment, capital expenditures and drilling program, all future matters relating to the title issue, including financial effects thereof, response of Exxon/Mobil, finding of status as good faith trespasser, Edge's defense of its position, effect of new auditors and any other statements that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements that are based on current expectations. Although the Company believes that its expectations are based on reasonable assumptions, it can give no assurance that these expectations will prove correct. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements include the outcome and timing of the litigation, rulings by courts, the ability of the Company to obtain a bond or security, timing, actions by ExxonMobil, results of litigation or disputes regarding the title problem and other factors described in the Company's most recent Form 10-K and other filings with Securities and Exchange Commission. This letter should be read in conjunction with the Company's Forms 10-K, 10-Qs, 8-Ks and other filings with the SEC.
SOURCE: Edge Petroleum Corporation