SOURCE: Paragon Financial Limited

Paragon Financial Limited

August 10, 2012 08:20 ET

Oil Prices Continue Rally as Energy Information Administration Raises Forecasts for 2012 Oil Prices

The Paragon Report Provides Stock Research on McMoRan Exploration and Gulfport Energy

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Aug 10, 2012) - Oil and gas stocks have stagnated in 2012 as the recent economic slowdown in Europe and China has created a less than favorable demand outlook for crude. The SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (XOP) year-to-date has gained less than 0.5 percent. The Paragon Report examines investing opportunities in the Oil & Gas Industry and provides equity research on McMoRan Exploration Co. (NYSE: MMR) and Gulfport Energy Corp. (NASDAQ: GPOR).

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Oil prices surged nearly 5 percent last Friday, their biggest gain in a month, after the Labor Department reported that U.S. employers added 163,000 jobs in July. "Anything that points to economic growth boosts oil," said Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy & Economic Research.

The Energy Information Administration recently reported that U.S. crude supplies surprisingly declined 3.7 million barrels last week to 369.9 million barrels. According to analysts surveyed by Platts supplies were predicted to drop by only 300,000 barrels. The EIA earlier this week raised its forecasts for 2012 oil prices. West Texas Intermediate crude is now projected to average $93.90, up from the previous estimate of $92.83, while Brent crude was increased to $108.07 a barrel from $106.

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McMoRan Exploration Co. is an independent public company engaged in the exploration, development and production of natural gas and oil in the shallow waters of the GOM Shelf and onshore in the Gulf Coast area. Second-quarter 2012 production averaged 140 MMcfe/d net to McMoRan, compared with 197 MMcfe/d in the second quarter of 2011.

Gulfport Energy Corporation is an Oklahoma City-based independent oil and natural gas exploration and production company with its principal producing properties located along the Louisiana Gulf Coast and in the Permian Basin in West Texas. The company produced oil and natural gas sales volumes of 663,626 barrels of oil equivalent, or 7,293 barrels of oil equivalent per day, in the second quarter of 2012, a 17% year-over-year increase from the second quarter of 2011.

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