SOURCE: The Bedford Report

The Bedford Report

February 23, 2011 11:25 ET

Political Unrest Sends Oil Industry Skyrocketing

The Bedford Report Provides Analyst Research on Chevron & Suncor

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - February 23, 2011) - Oil prices surged close to six percent yesterday as hostilities continued to escalate in Libya. According to an official at the International Energy Agency, the unrest in the African nation has caused about 50,000 barrels a day of oil output to be shut down. Libya is a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, accounting for close to two percent of world crude output. Concern is growing that more of Libya's crude exports could be affected as foreign oil companies evacuate staff from the country. The Bedford Report examines the outlook for companies in the Major Integrated Oil & Gas Industry and provides research reports on Chevron Corporation (NYSE: CVX) and Suncor Energy, Inc. (NYSE: SU). Access to the full company reports can be found at:

Spanish Oil Company Repsol-YPF said it suspended production in Libya, while other oil companies, including Italy's Eni, Royal Dutch Shell PLC, U.K.-based BP and Germany's Wintershall, started evacuating employees.

While analyst consensus is that the world can function without Libya's exports, Victor Shum, an energy analyst at Purvin and Gertz, warns "the worry is about what's next. What if protests persist in Iran and things get out of hand?" Already, protests have turned violent in Bahrain and Iran.

The Bedford Report releases regular market updates on the Major Integrated Oil & Gas Industry so investors can stay ahead of the crowd and make the best investment decisions to maximize their returns. Take a few minutes to register with us free at and get exclusive access to our numerous analyst reports and industry newsletters.

Higher oil prices have lead to surging profits for oil producers. Recently Chevron said fourth quarter net profit increased to $5.32 billion or $2.64 a share, from $3.1 billion, or $1.53 a share, in the year-earlier period. Chevron presently pays an annual dividend of 2.88 for a yield of around 3.20 percent.

Canadian-based Suncor said earlier this month that its fourth quarter earnings nearly tripled as higher oil prices and increased sales made for a strong quarter. Suncor is one of the few Canadian energy companies with a presence in Libya. In the fourth quarter Suncor averaged 34.7 mln barrels of oil equivalent per day from Libya -- representing more than 20 percent of its overseas production.

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