SOURCE: Five Star Equities

Five Star Equities

February 18, 2013 08:20 ET

Positive Outlook for Oil Industry in 2013 as EIA and OPEC Raise Forecasts for Global Oil Demand

Five Star Equities Provides Stock Research on Hercules Offshore and Seadrill

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Feb 18, 2013) - The Oil & Gas Industry has experienced a good start to 2013 as improvements in the global economy has seen both the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) and OPEC raise their forecasts for global oil demand in 2013. The SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (XOP) has gained over 10 percent year-to-date. Five Star Equities examines the outlook for companies in the Oil & Gas Industry and provides equity research on Hercules Offshore, Inc. (NASDAQ: HERO) and Seadrill Ltd. (NYSE: SDRL).

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The EIA has raised its 2013 growth forecasts by 110,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 1.05 million bpd in 2013. Global oil demand is now expected to total 90.2 million bpd this year. The increase follows a report from OPEC earlier in the week projecting oil demand to increase by 840,000 bpd, 80,000 bpd higher than its previous estimate. Prices for Brent Crude have gained approximately 10 percent year-to-date hitting a 10-month high of over $118 a barrel.

"Market fundamentals and expectations strengthened in January 2013 because of earlier than-expected cutbacks in Saudi Arabian oil production and greater optimism about economic growth, particularly in China," the EIA said in its report.

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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 net income, the first in five years, of $4.3 million in the fourth quarter, compared to a net loss of $21.5 million a year ago. Shares of Hercules are up nearly 15 percent year-to-date.

Seadrill is an offshore drilling contractor providing worldwide offshore drilling services to the oil and gas industry. The company is scheduled to release its fourth quarter and preliminary 2012 results on Thursday February 28, 2013. The company has revised its estimates for the downtime of deepwater rigs in operation in the fourth quarter from 41 days to approximately 100 days.

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