-- A closer option Policy-makers told US oil companies at a Jan. 25 conference in Washington, DC, that within a generation Africa may supplant the Middle East as the US's most critically strategic energy supplier.
-- Finance/Companies news briefs, Jan. 30 BP ... Veba ... Argonauts Group ... Chain Energy ... PDVSA ... Petroleos Paven ... Vepica International ... Westfort Energy ... Patterson
-- International opportunities exist for independents who manage risks There are "many opportunities in the world" for international independent operators to find large oil and natural gas reserves if they manage risks, said industry analysts and executives at the opening of the 10th annual North American Prospects Expo Tuesday in Houston.
-- Pakistan to auction interests in nine fields in April Pakistan will proceed Apr. 15 with a long-delayed auction for its working interests in nine oil and gas fields, said the Privatization Commission. The commission previously expected to hold that auction last summer.
-- PJM, Midwest ISO agreement raises question of FERC response PJM's decision to link up with the Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator Inc., instead of New York and New England, caught some industry participants off guard and raises questions about the federal government's response.
-- Conoco to build 750 Mw cogeneration plant in the UK Conoco Global Power (UK) Ltd., a unit of Conoco Inc., Houston, Monday said it will build a 730 Mw cogeneration plant next to its Humber refinery in the UK. Construction of the combined heat and power (CHP) plant is expected to begin immediately with completion projected by 2004. The announcement comes at a time electricity prices are falling in the UK market.
-- Egypt to supply $8 billion of LNG to France over 20 years Egypt has signed an $8 billion, 20-year agreement to supply Gaz de France SA with 3.6 million tonnes/year of gas. The contract paves the way for a BG Group PLC-led $900 million project to develop Egyptian liquefied natural gas supplies.
-- Delta Petroleum to acquire US properties of Castle Energy Delta Petroleum Corp., Denver, has agreed to buy all the US oil and gas properties of Castle Energy Corp., Radnor, Pa., for $20 million in cash and 9.6 million shares of Delta common stock. The agreement does not include Castle's Romanian activities.
-- S&P's 2002 electricity outlook weak; stronger for oil and gas producers Standard & Poor's Monday reported a negative near-term outlook for electric companies and the natural gas industry, even though the ratings agency expects earnings to increase modestly in 2002. S&P suggested investors will switch from the utility sector in the search for better returns. But the energy sector may offer investors 'some upward surprises,' S&P said.