Friday, July 11, 2008

Weekend Beach Reading: July 14, 2008

Haynesville Shale is the modern equivalent of a Klondike gold rush, with Plains Exploration and Production (PXP-$73.35) paying approximately $30,000 per leasehold-acre for a 20 percent stake in Chesapeake Energy's (CHK-$63.52) emerging natural gas play .

In its interim update for the second-quarter, Chevron Corp. (CVX-$92.25), the second-largest U.S. oil company behind Exxon Mobil (XOM-$85.48) reported that upstream (exploration and production) earnings would benefit from an increase in prices for crude oil and natural gas.

Solarfun Power Holdings (SOLF-$14.22), a vertically integrated manufacturer of silicon ingots and photovoltaic modules in Shanghai, reports that GCL Silicon Technology (Zhongneng) will supply enough virgin polysilicon sufficient to produce approximately 1.2-gigawatts of solar modules in aggregate over eight years. However,
the supply contract looks disturbingly like a restatement of an existing — and unfulfilled — contract.

Yonghua Lu, the founder of Solarfun Power Holdings (SOLF-$14.22),
profits from financing and other arrangements with the solar module maker through a Byzantine maze of companies. But Lu's interests may not be aligned with those of other shareholders.

Current accounting rules limit disclosure to only proved and probable oil and gas reserves.
New regulations being proposed by the SEC, would allow Suncor Energy (SU-$60.17) to classify previously excluded unconventional resources, such as tar sands, as oil and gas reserves, doubling its asset base overnight.

Editor David J. Phillips does not hold a financial interest in any stocks mentioned in this article. The 10Q Detective has a Full Disclosure Policy.

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