SOURCE: Paragon Financial Limited

Paragon Financial Limited

August 16, 2012 08:20 ET

Oil Prices Rally 30 Percent Since the End of June -- BP Looking to Sell Gulf of Mexico Oilfield for Up to $7.9 Billion

The Paragon Report Provides Stock Research on BP and Chevron

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Aug 16, 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 just 1 percent. The Paragon Report examines investing opportunities in the Oil & Gas Industry and provides equity research on BP plc (NYSE: BP) and Chevron Corporation (NYSE: CVX).

Access to the full company reports can be found at:
www.ParagonReport.com/BP
www.ParagonReport.com/CVX

Despite weak global demand oil prices have gained nearly a third during the last six weeks. At the beginning of the week Brent crude prices hit $115 per barrel, the highest it's been in the last three months. Since the end of June Brent crude prices have rebounded roughly 30 percent. The EIA earlier this month raised it 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.

"The market is decoupling from fundamentals," said Carsten Fritsch, an analyst at Germany's Commerzbank in Frankfurt. "Much of the strength is based on factors -- such as more U.S. economic stimulus -- that are far from guaranteed."

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Bloomberg earlier this week reported that BP is looking for as much as $7.9 billion for a group of oilfields in the Gulf of Mexico. By the end of next year the company is looking to sell $38 billion in assets. "No one should confuse our effort to sell these older, non-strategic assets, which we announced months ago, with our ongoing commitment to the Gulf of Mexico," said spokesman Brett Clanton.

Chevrov recently reported that they have sanctioned the $2.0 billion development of the Lianzi field located offshore between Angola and the Republic of Congo. "Lianzi is Chevron's first operated asset in the Republic of Congo and builds on Chevron's strong position in West Africa, one of the world's key hydrocarbon basins," said George Kirkland, vice chairman, Chevron Corporation.

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