Colorado Flooding Halts Oil Production
Flash floods caused by severe weather in Colorado last week have put the state’s most productive oil field under water. Several companies have been forced to shut down affected wells in the Denver-Julesburg basin due to both operational and environmental concerns.
Though the full extent of the damages has yet to be fully assessed, the flooding is likely to impact third-quarter production of providers such as Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE: NBL) and Bill Barrett Corp. (NYSE: BBG). Noble has an estimated 7% of its producing wells in the affected area, while Bill Barret has reported that 4 wells have been shut down.
The Death of Coal
Since 2007, U.S. coal exports have more than tripled. But recent events could mean a reversal in this trend. China (the world’s largest consumer of coal) is cutting its consumption rate and threatening the U.S. coal industry as a result. At the same time, booming natural gas production is offering cheap alternatives to electric power consumers that make up the bulk of U.S. coal use.
Yet while the future of U.S. coal is looking quite dark, these events have now opened new opportunities for energy investors. For more information on these developing plays, click here.