SOURCE: Paragon Financial Limited

Paragon Financial Limited

August 21, 2012 08:20 ET

Oil Stocks Rally Along With Oil Prices -- Forecasted 2012 Average Oil Prices Raised by the EIA

The Paragon Report Provides Stock Research on Hercules Offshore and Samson Oil & Gas

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Aug 21, 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 over 2 percent. The Paragon Report examines investing opportunities in the Oil & Gas Industry and provides equity research on Hercules Offshore, Inc. (NASDAQ: HERO) and Samson Oil & Gas Limited (NYSE: SSN).

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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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Hercules Offshore offers a range of services to oil and gas producers to meet their needs during drilling, well service, platform inspection, maintenance, and decommissioning operations in several key shallow water provinces around the world. The company reported a loss from continuing operations of $55.1 million, or $0.35 per diluted share, on revenue of $179.0 million for the second quarter 2012.

Samson Oil & Gas Limited is an USA/Australian oil & gas company focusing on oil production in the Niobrara and Bakken formations in the USA. Samson's business strategy is to create value by exploiting its Niobrara and Bakken acreage position.

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