-- Inclusion of ANWR leasing in defense bill riles Senate A provision to authorize oil and gas leasing on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Coastal Plain continued its wild ride through the 109th Congress as the Senate prepared on Dec. 20 to consider the defense appropriations bill in which the ANWR provision currently resides (OGJ Online, Dec. 19, 2005).
-- MARKET WATCH Crude futures prices spiral down Crude futures prices fell Dec. 19 for the fourth consecutive session on the New York market as forecasts of moderate weather later this month fanned traders' fears of reduced demand for energy.
-- House approves oil and gas leasing in ANWR The US House of Representatives has passed a defense appropriations bill with a section approving oil and gas leasing of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Coastal Plain.
-- Talisman Energy's 2006 E&D budget up 36% Talisman Energy Inc., Calgary, plans to spend $4.4 billion (Can.) on exploration and development in 2006, which would be 36% more than its 2005 budget.
-- Sakhalin II Phase 2 clears EDRB hurdle Sakhalin Energy Investment Co. Ltd. has received a determination from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) that its Sakhalin II Phase 2 is "fit for purpose" on environmental and social issues management.
-- Superior buys Cherokee basin gas wells Superior Oil & Gas Co., Yukon, Okla., will pay Foster Oil & Gas 300,000 shares of stock to acquire 28 natural gas wells in the Cherokee basin of southeastern Kansas and northeastern Oklahoma.
-- Range raises 2006 capital budget by 32% Range Resources Corp., Fort Worth, has set a capital budget of $429 million for 2006, excluding acquisitions, up 32% from expected spending in 2005.
-- Wentworth Energy buys Utah oil sands leases Wentworth Energy Inc., Forth Worth, acquired 1,900 acres of oil sand leases in Utah's Asphalt Ridge oil sands region. The properties are 3.5 miles southwest of Vernal.
-- Plains E&P sets $430 million capital budget Plains Exploration & Production Co., Houston, has allocated $430 million for capital projects next year and approved a $500 million stock repurchase program funded with cash flow in excess of capital investments.