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The Oil and Gas Industry have been under attack by environmentalists regarding their use of hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking. The Obama administration announced last Friday plans to tighten rules on fracking procedures and will require companies to disclose all the chemicals they use in the process. The Paragon Report examines investing opportunities in the Oil and Gas Industry and provides equity research on Chevron Corporation (NYSE: CVX) and Suncor Energy Inc. (NYSE: SU).
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The use of "fracking" has been one of the major reasons for the recent boom in energy production. It has reduced the nation's reliance on oil imports and significantly boosted production of natural gas. Along with the disclosure of chemicals used the new rules proposed will require companies to do additional testing on oil and gas wells before construction and force them to have a management plan for the fracking fluid they use. Companies have argued that disclosing what specific chemicals they use in their fracking process were trade secrets and disclosure would destroy any competitive advantage they have over the competition.
"This proposed rule will strengthen the requirements for hydraulic fracturing performed on federal and Indian lands in order to build public confidence and protect the health of American communities, while ensuring continued access to the important resources that make up our energy economy," the Interior Department said in a statement.
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Chevron Corporation recently reported earnings of $6.5 billion ($3.27 per share - diluted) for the first quarter 2012, compared with $6.2 billion ($3.09 per share - diluted) in the 2011 first quarter. The Board of Directors increased the quarterly dividend by 11 percent to $0.90 per share, payable June 11, 2012. The company currently offers investors a dividend yield of 3.40 percent.
Suncor Energy is Canada's premier integrated energy company. Suncor's operations include oil sands development and upgrading, conventional and offshore oil and gas production, petroleum refining, and product marketing under the Petro-Canada brand. The company reported first quarter 2012 net earnings of $1.457 billion ($0.93 per common share), compared to net earnings of $1.028 billion ($0.65 per common share) for the first quarter of 2011.
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