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National Fuel swaps Mexico for Pennsylvania

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National Fuel is selling wells in paradise (also known as the Gulf of Mexico) to invest more heavily in Pennsylvania.

National Fuel is trading in fossil fuel properties in the Gulf of Mexico so it can invest more heavily in Pennsylvania's Marcellus shale, reports David Robinson at the Buffalo News.  The sale will net $70 million for the firm to use to drill closer to home:

National Fuel’s gas production from the Marcellus region has been growing rapidly, recently topping 100 million cubic feet per day and reaching 120 million cubic feet per day Monday. National Fuel, through its Seneca Resources subsidiary, has 32 wells in the Marcellus Shale that it operates, plus an additional 27 operated by its partner through a joint venture with EOG Resources. “This sale allows us to recover the remainder of Seneca’s investment [in the gulf] quickly, David F. Smith, company chairman and CEO, said in a statement. “We look forward to redeploying these proceeds to Seneca’s long-term growth . . . in the Marcellus Shale.” Because the sale will reduce National Fuel’s forecasted production for this year, the company also trimmed its earnings forecast for the year, paring its per-share estimate by 5 cents, to between $2.70 and $2.95.

Recharge NY

New York's Senate has given the thumbs up to a plan that would boost up the amount of cheap power that businesses can receive as an incentive for job creation.  Tom Precious at the Buffalo News reports that "Recharge NY" passed 62-0 earlier this week:

The Recharge NY program calls for merging the 455 megawatts of power used by about 500 businesses with the 455 megawatts that go to some upstate residential consumers. The Assembly and Senate are split over a provision to provide upstate consumers $100 million through 2013 as a trade-off for losing the rate breaks; that was the level of the rate benefit in 2010. But that fund would drop steadily over the years to $30 million by 2016 and beyond—a level Cahill says is too low. The new plan gives companies the ability to reapply for the low-cost power every seven years. “This bill gives those companies seven years of certainty,” [Buffalo area senator George] Maziarz said on the Senate floor.

Meanwhile the Business Council of New York State is pushing the Assembly to pass the bill swiftly, reports Thomas Adams at the Rochester Business Journal.

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