SOURCE: The Bedford Report

The Bedford Report

February 23, 2011 08:46 ET

Surging Oil Prices Lift Cenovus & BP's Top Lines

The Bedford Report Provides Analyst Research on BP & Cenovus Energy

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 BP PLC (NYSE: BP) and Cenovus Energy, Inc. (TSX: CVE). 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.

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Higher oil prices have lead to surging profits for oil producers. Recently BP reported fourth-quarter 2010 earnings of $1.39 per share as revenue increased close to 14 percent to $83.99 billion from $73.64 billion in the year-ago quarter.

Canadian-based Cenovus Energy said last week that its fourth quarter earnings grew to $73 million, or 10 cents per share, from $42 million, or six cents a share in the same period a year ago, as revenues were driven by higher oil prices. Famously, Cenovus oilsands developments use steam to liquefy bitumen deep underground -- making it more easily drawn to the surface. Cenovus also has conventional crude oil, natural gas and natural-gas liquids holdings.

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