Energy Updates: Chesapeake Energy Corporation (CHK)’s Royalty Issue, Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM)’s Commissioning Phase & Occidental Petroleum Corporation (OXY)

Editor’s Note: Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK), Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM), Occidental Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:OXY)

Chesapeake Energy Agrees To Pay $7.5 Million To Settle Royalty Lawsuit (State Impact)
The biggest natural gas driller in Pennsylvania has agreed to pay $7.5 million to settle a class action lawsuit alleging the company underpaid gas royalties to leaseholders. Some gas leases allow companies to deduct the expenses they incur moving gas from the well to the market – things like compressor stations and pipelines. These deductions are known as “post-production costs.”

Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK)

Exxon cutting housing aid for Arkansas oil spill victims (treehugger)
Five months after Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM)‘s Pegasus oil pipeline ruptured, spilling hundreds of thousands of gallons of tar sands oil into a small residential area, most of the residents that were forced to evacuate have not returned to their homes, due to health concerns over air quality and evidence that oil is still present underneath some of the homes. This has, shockingly, not stopped Exxon from announcing in early August that they are cutting off housing assistance for these displaced residents.

Exxon on track for 2014 production start to PNG LNG (Radio New Zealand International)
Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) says that its 19 billion US dollar LNG project in Papua New Guinea is ninety percent complete and on schedule to deliver its first cargo of liquefied natural gas in the second half of next year. PNG LNG project executive, Decie Autin, says they have started the commissioning phase at the LNG plant in preparation for the first production in 2014.

Occidental Petroleum Corp. Receives Buy Rating from TheStreet (OXY) (Zolmax News)
Occidental Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:OXY)‘s stock had its “buy” rating reiterated by research analysts at TheStreet in a report released on Tuesday, Analyst Ratings Network reports. The analysts wrote, “Occidental Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:OXY) has been reiterated by TheStreet Ratings as a buy with a ratings score of B. The company’s strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.”

Chesapeake settles Pennsylvania royalties suit (Barnett Shale)
Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK), which has faced numerous suits in several states over its payment of royalties on natural gas production, agreed to a $7.5 million settlement of a class action case in Pennsylvania. Here’s a link to a report.