SOURCE: Paragon Financial Limited

Paragon Financial Limited

May 24, 2012 08:20 ET

Soaring Costs Likely to Keep Oil From Sliding Much Farther

The Paragon Report Provides Stock Research on Penn West Petroleum and Northern Oil & Gas

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - May 24, 2012) - Growing fears about a potential recession in Europe, which consumes 18 percent of the world's oil, has weighed heavily on oil prices, and companies. The SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (XOP) has fallen over 7 percent in the past month. The Paragon Report examines investing opportunities in the Oil & Gas Industry and provides equity research on Penn West Petroleum Ltd. (NYSE: PWE) (TSX: PWT) and Northern Oil & Gas, Inc. (NYSE: NOG).

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Prices of Brent crude hit five-month lows last week as concerns about the global economy grew, and Saudi Arabia stated it would over produce to force prices lower according to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal. Despite the current conditions many industry observers believe oil is unlikely to slide much further, as productions costs remain high. "Costs are still at a very high level because of the complexity of marginal fields," said Pierre Sigonney, chief economist at French oil company Total SA. "We don't expect oil prices to go much below $100 a barrel."

"I believe there is a floor at $100. Ultimately the Saudis are the ones that have the single biggest positive influence in the oil price, other than anyone starting a war -- which would have a negative but upward impression on oil price," said Philip Wolfe, head of energy EMEA for UBS.

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Penn West is one of the largest conventional oil and natural gas producers in Canada. Penn West operates a significant portfolio of opportunities with a dominant position in light oil in Canada. Based in Calgary, Alberta, Penn West operates throughout western Canada on a land base encompassing over six million acres. The company recently reported a net income for the first quarter of 2012 of $59 million.

Northern Oil and Gas, Inc. is an exploration and production company with a core area of focus in the Williston Basin Bakken and Three Forks play in North Dakota and Montana. In the first quarter of 2012, oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids sales increased 141 percent compared to the first quarter of 2011, driven primarily by a 117 percent increase in production.

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