Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Oil | Gasprom, Statoil, Petrobras

What to the names Gasprom, Statoil and Petrobras have in common? They're all state-owned oil and natural gas energy companies that have a lot of upside potential for oil investors.

When you consider the national monopolies represented by state-owned oil & gas companies, you realize the great potential an energy investor has, assuming they do their homework, as not all nationalized oil companies are the same. Take Mexico and Venezuela, who run their oil exploration companies horribly, and you'd have to have oil in your veins to invest in them.

But in some cases, the competitive advantage for a well run national oil company offers great opportunity.

Take Petrobras of Brazil for a moment. They discovered huge offshore oil fields over the last couple years, and the government offered the prime drilling locations to who? You got it: Petrobras. If any other oil companies are allowed in, you know all they'll get is the leftovers.

Now Statoil, or StoilHydro, from Norway, is in a similar situation, and are positioned for some good profits going forword.

As far as Russian oil company Gazprom, which also has a presence in the UK, they are obviously a much more risky investment, but worthwhile testing out with your spare change rather than serious energy investment money. The Gazprom news is a little more volatile than the oil news concerning other energy companies owned by governments.

Now that the idea is being floated around out there that all the easy oil has been accessed (it hasn't but that's a different story), these national oil and natural gas exploration companies should receive a lot of positive attention from news outlets as the idea of scarcity and higher prices woo oil investors.

We're going to see more oil rigs offshore, and those will be installed by companies like statoil, Petrobras and Gazprom.

Many energy investors don't realize the size of some of the state oil companies even when compared to huge oil and gas firms like Exxon Mobile. Exxon Mobile doesn't have anywhere near the oil and gas capacity that these state oil & gas companies have, and they have to pay taxes, contrary to the national oil and gas companies.

Where does that leave us? It leaves us with huge companies that own a monopoly exploring and drilling a natural resource that will be needed for decades and decades ahead.

Those energy companies owned run by those countries operationally sound way, will bring good returns for investors for years to come. Just think of the country producing the oil and gas to see what the risks are. As risky as the country is in other areas, will be the risk involved for investors in oil and gas.

New techniques used allow oil & gas exploration companies to see through the salty ocean bottoms to find new energy reserves. That is what allowed Petrobras to discover the Tupi and other oil fields which had been there all along.

Depending on what your energy investment strategy is and your personal risk disposition, national companies like Gazprom, Statoil and Petrobras could be places you put your dollars for the long haul.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Corn: Is the Ethanol Party Over?

While some commodities in the precious metals sector will enjoy a banner year in 2009, grains, and specifically corn, won't be doing to well, as least in the first half the year, as corn futures drop below $4 a bushel.

Contrast that to last year when the sky seemed the limit when corn futures reached over $8 a bushel, and money was plentiful.

Even the drought in Argentina hasn't made an impact on corn prices, as similar to wheat, the harvest globally has been so good, that losing a significant amount like that hasn't made a dent in the price holding up at all.

One major reason for the downfall was the reliance on the taxpayer subsidized ethanol industry, which unsurprisingly has been hammered from the artificial industry, which doesn't have a chance of being successful, as most government hair brained ideas aren't.

The drop in oil prices has caused the ethanol industry to collapse, and even with subsidies, many have already filed for bankruptcy. While that will help silver producers with cost inputs, it evidently won't help the costly corn production process.

Corn farmers need to learn if they suck at the government teat, they're eventually going to get sour milk.

Only the gullible couldn't see the foolishness of the government ethanol program that already has been seen to be a failure. Oil would have to be well over $200 a barrel to make it sustainable, and there would be a consumer outcry if that were to happen.

Corn farmers are now looking to get out of a lot of their corn acreage this year, and revert to soybeans, which have much less costly inputs, and a much better chance at success than the heavily subsidized corn ethynal debacle.

Unfortunately for corn producers, they've become addicted to government entitlements, and then mistakenly follow their business advice which they have no expertise in. That's why it's better to rely on yourself and your own research than dipping your hand in the public till.

Because of the mismanaged and faulty ethanol hoax, farmers will now find it difficult to optain loans for planting and inputs, as the banking system is wary, and the harvests and corn markets very volatile.

So even though we love maize, not even the drought in a major corn exporting country like Argentina who had their corn outlet cut by over 25% could bring corn futures back up again.

As far as corn prices later in 2009, one thing that could eventually help, is the fact that there probably will be quite a few less acres planted in corn this year, especially in the U.S.

Much will depend on if that remains true in other parts of the world, In Argentina, this is the worst drought since 1971, so it's hard to picture them going through something like this again. So they should rebound and have a good corn harvest next year, which will have to be included in the corn price outlook going ahead.

One thing for sure, this year will be as unpredictable as it has ever been for corn farmers, and looking ahead it could be much better to plant acreage in a more predictable crop than toss the dice on seeding fields in the volatile corn market.

Silver: Prices Ready to Breakout?

The place to put our money in 2009 will probably be in silver, gold and oil. I don't see any of them disappointing over the year. Already oil has a super contango going, with guaranteed profits built in with little or no risk.

Silver and gold are almost ensured the same thing, as the US dollar starts its inevitable collapse and decline, and investors rush to safety in the two metals.

Silver and gold futures, along with ETFs should also perform strongly, as the deleveraging and forced liquidation periods of investment funds and companies seems to be winding down. That's why we see money flowing to this precious metals.

It's also the reason the dollar will continue to drop for some time, as the artificial circumstances that allowed it to remain temporarily strong are now gone with the forced liquidation and deleveraging period, and so nothing stands in the way of silver futures and gold futures moving up in price.

Another reason 2009 looks good, is energy costs are down, which play a big part in the cost of mining silver, which with the timing of the economic conditions, is nothing but favorable for silver in 2009.

While there's no doubt that gold futures and prices will flourish in 2009, reaching heady numbers, in terms percentages percentages, silver futures will probably even outproduce gold futures as an investment, and bring some very good returns themselves.

One thing to consider with the pricing of silver is there are two components involved, just like their is with platinum, as they're both significant industrial metals as well as investment metals.

That means much may depend on how investors view silver as to how high it will go. If they look at it strictly from an industrial demand point of view, it may not rise as high as expected, because demand for industrial silver could definitely fall this year.

But view it primarily from as an investment metal, and silver will shine in 2009, as silver futures soar to dizzying heights.

One last thing about silver futures prices soaring this year, is they're denominated in U.S. dollars, while most silver mining companies are foreign, and not working from the dollar. That means that locally, prices are falling while the metal prices are soaring. What could be better than that for silver investors everywhere?

Well, those in America have the pesky problem of a currency falling in value, so exchange rates could hurt them depending on how things are structured and the silver company they've invested in, if that's how they went about doing it.

Either way, silver futures and investment in some silver mining companies and ETFs, should be one of the few solid investments available to those looking to not only salvage their money, but have it work for them too.

A few commodities will be hot this year, and silver will be one of them.

Gold and Gold Mining Companies: Prices to Soar?

The term rally and bullish should continue for gold and gold futures over the next year or so, as it shouldn't have any problem breaking above the $900 an ounce barrier and soaring from there. Gold and silver mining producers or companies will also do great this year, not only from demand, but operations will cost much less as energy costs, which are a key cost for gold mining companies, will remain down this year, while gold prices continue to rise. That should produce a banner year for gold mining companies.

Much of what has held gold prices down during these tough economic times has been the forced liquidation and deleveraging major funds had to do in order to raise cash to cover their debt and expenses. That forced them to sell their positions in gold and other commodities in order to do that. That's the reason commodities struggled for some time, especially some of the precious metals. It's also the reason the US dollar was inflated far beyond its underlying fundamentals.

Now that it looks like gold is back as the haven of safety it always has been, we'll start to see it grow in a much larger way and respond as it should have been all along. The bulls are out of the pen and we'll see the yellow metal soar in 2009.

Many financial experts are turning into bulls now, as the reason they were so unsure is no one know how long big funds and investment firms would take to unwind their positions and be ready to go back to the commodity markets. It seems we have the answer now, and that answer is a bull market.

This of course means that quality gold companies will enjoy good times going forward, as they lead commodities and other precious metals forward. I don't think the grain markets will participate in the bull market, but most many metals will, including silver, which according to percentages could even outperform gold.

Another reason gold will do well for some time is the terrible ideas of the government to bailout every industry that runs their companies poorly. That will force them to keep printing money into oblivion, and that fiat money has a bad ring to it, as it'll definitely push inflation much higher because there's no one to buy U.S. debt to pay for these extraordinarly expensive initiatives.

That's good news for gold investors, as inflation will be another arrow in the quiver that will keep gold prices rising, and the gold rally extending.

Foreign governments will ease out of the untrustworthy U.S Treasury bonds, and so that will leave the U.S. and Federal Reserve with no option to keep the money printing presses humming, and they will.

That will also bring the value of the U.S. dollar down, and will make gold even more attractive.

Similar to the forced liquidation period of funds and investment firms, it'll be impossible to know how long the bull gold rally will last, but I think it'll be much longer than the forced liquidation period that helped the dollar remain strong, although the fundamentals were so off.

In this case, the trillions being promised and spent by the US government could keep gold as a solid investment for quite some time, as the U.S. dollar continues on its road to collapse.

As far as gold and silver mining companies, we'll see quite a number of them enjoy some of the best years they ever have, assuming they're already well run companies and positioned to take advantage of the haven of safety investors will be looking for in 2009.

Wheat: Argentina Wheat Market Crumbling

Although a number of crops are failing in Argentina, including corn and soy, wheat is also participating in the destructive drought that is crushing the entire agriculture sector of Argentina.

The commodity grain sector hasn't moved with the metals market, as demand for everything is down, even though people still need to eat, as well as their livestock.

This is particularly difficult for Argentina, who is one of the top exporters of grains in the world, and so depend on so much on it for the welfare of the country.

At this time things are so bad that farmers have given up trying to salvage their wheat crop, and instead are focusing on saving their cattle. Even if the cattle are saved, they will be difficult to breed because of the lack of food for them.

According to farmers in Argentina, wheat fields are as dried as they can be, with little hope of salvaging a wheat crop, as there is little to put in storage.

Unfortunately for everyone involved, the wheat planting, wheat yield and wheat harvest around the world has been huge, and so the drought in Argentina is hurting them without benefiting anyone else.

Even though farmers in the U.S. were hoping to get some of the trade usually done by Argentina with Brazil, it looks like it won't have much impact on wheat exports from the U.S., and so Argentines will be the ones to suffer.

So in spite of this, wheat futures aren't moving much because of this, although there was a slight move upward recently based on wheat news from the country. But it's not sustainable.

Weather predictions in the country are, as usual, contradictory, and so some say the drought will end with rain coming, and others say it won't amount to much. Either way, wheat farmers in Argentina, and its people, are in for a long struggle as grain prices continue to fall.

For Argentina, this is the worst year for drought and lack of rain since 1971, and even if there is a major change in the weather patterns, the wheat harvest will be way down, as wheat production grinds to a halt.

Along with the wheat crop, other crops suffering are corn and soy, with silos there to store the crops are in many cases empty or half full.

Even though soy is down, it is still on the positive side, and is projected to increase in production by 7 percent. The corn harvest will fall by about 27 percent, and wheat production will be hit the most from the poor growing season projected to plunge by 44 percent over the 2008-2009 harvesting season.

Grains are so scarce in the country, that the Argentine government is has even lowered the minimum weight requirements to slaughter cattle so the farmers can make some money off them before they are worthless or die.

It'll take some time to recover from this wheat disaster, as Argentina will suffer probably for a couple years or more trying to come back from this natural disaster.

In a normal year this would have boosted wheat prices tremendously, but the wheat harvest has been so plentiful globally, that it will easily absorb the losses without making a difference in wheat prices.

Oil: OPEC Production Cuts

OPEC countries are under increasing pressure to cut oil production as oil prices aren't able to prop up the many countries so reliant on higher prices to take care of their needs.

It's not a stretch to say the leaders of oil producing countries will have their hands full as people start to get edgy over consequences of low prices.

In reality, there's not much OPEC and other oil producing countries can do about it, as the economic crisis has lowered demand for oil, and no matter how far oil production is cut, it's not going to get people to spend their money on gas they're not going to use.

Cutting oil production will only cause people to travel even less, undercutting the very strategy attempted by countries to prop up their crude prices.

If oil prices rise than there will be a high cost of oil that will sit there not being used, as people continue to save rather than spend their money.

Oil storage and reserves are growing while consumers hold back from buying, that isn't going to change for OPEC or oil companies. The oil industry can cut production, and it has already, but that won't solve the problem the market has already decided.

All that corporations and countries should do is get out of the way and let the market figure it out. Intervention into the oil market will cause unintended consequences as government interference always does, and only prolong the economic pain for everyone.

There is nothing driving the oil markets, prices, supply, costs, drilling and production other than consumer demand. Nothing can be done to change that until the economic crisis ends and then money flowing back into consumer goods and services.

The oil industry can only stand by and watch, cut cost, get leaner, and prepare for when the turnaround in the oil market comes.

This will be essential for the industry, as once demand rises, there will probably be a huge surge in buying as pent up demand explodes. Oil companies and refineries need to be ready for that time, as they'll soon forget the bad oil news of today and their profits will again surge ahead.

Oil exploration is another important factor in the mix, as there is plenty of oil out there, and the demand will come back stronger than ever as America, China and other nations will return to their insatiable appetites for oil that they had in the recent past.

So OPEC and oil companies just need to relax a bit. Yes there's problems related to low oil prices, but forcing the issue in attempts to artificially raise the price of oil above market levels never works.

We just have to wait out the tough times and wait for oil demand to rebound.

Ethanol: "Show Me Ethanol" Conflict of Interest

"Show Me Ethanol" in Missouri is in a battle over conflict of interest, as politicians in the state own shares in the company, potentially giving the ethanol plant it's operating for the purpose of making money for state legislaters.

State Treasurer Sarah Steelman has a policy in place to keep the taxpayer subsidized company from benefiting those in governmental power.

Some are trying to pressure Steelman to ease up on the policy, but she's right - there shouldn't be any politician anywhere that benefits from a government subsidy program, as it's really another form of insider trading, no matter how you look at it.

Show Me Ethanol is scheduled to open this spring, and had received an initial nod from Steelman that they had conditional approval to receive loans from banks at rates below the market rate.

That condition was that the ethanol plant had to comply with the conflict of interest policy, where no single investor in the company could have ties to statewide elected officials or anyone related to them.

In the case of Show Me Ethanol, that's not the case, as a number of Missouri politians or their family members have invested in the ethanol company, including John Quinn, his wife, Mary, Andy Blunt, and Lesley Graves.

Supposedly other ethanol companies have been reluctant to work under Sarah Steelman's strict policy, but that seems to be a condemnation rather than a pressure on Steelman. They don't understand that by rejecting the policy, they're admitting they are indeed looking for favors from politicians, and that those politicians would benefit from it.

This underscores the problem of the ethanol industry, which can't survive without being artificially propped up by taxpayer money and tax credits, or low interest loans.

Include with this the tremendous amount of damage it does to some cars and power equipment like snowmobiles, chainsaws and many others, we need to simply get this idea off the table, along with the thought that this is a viable alternative energy source.

Ethanol really isn't a business, it's a socialist program designed to placate those who are earth worshippers and hate the thought of digging for the billions of barrels of oil on American soil, which would allow fuel for decades ahead.

Ethanol supporters are in denial of this, and so push forward this disastrous program that costs people so much, let alone the damage it does to the environment.

As an investment - as the failed ethanol companies around the country show - ethanol sucks, the alternative gas mix is terrible, and it's far less effective than regular gasoline.

What it's becoming is a political, socialist business, not a free market business. That's why the biofuel is failing, along with the many ethanol companies.

While the government should be involved in any type of business, if they are going to be, at least it should be something that isn't destructive like ethanol is, and something that has a future.

Ethanol as a business and alternative fuel isn't one of them. The taxpayer money is being wasted as the powerful farm and corn growers lobbies think of only themselves at the expense of the rest of us.

End the low paying loans, taxpayer subsidies and tax credits to farmers. If the business is a legitimate one, it would be able to stand on its own. Ethanol businesses can't.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Ethanol in Chainsaws: Disaster Waiting to Happen

Ethanol destroying chainsaws, even after being cleaned up

It seems that nothing runs good with ethanol in it, including chainsaws.

Many so-called experts have supposedly cleared automobiles for use with ethynol, but a large number of consumers still say they are having troubles with them. Snowmobile owners have been up in arms in the northern states over the breaking down of their snowmobiles from the use of ethanol in their engines.

When you research what some of the real experts - the mechanics - are saying, they start telling you the techniques you'd need to employ to take avoid the ethanol problems, or hopefully prevent them.

That's the problem, you just about have to be an expert, or at least very familiar with engines (which most people aren't), to even have a chance at preventing damage to or even salvaging your power equipment.

From hoses to valves, and other parts of engines, you have to take certain precautions to keep them from damaging your chainsaws. The amount of time, and in some cases with additives - extra price, it quickly becomes a much heavier burden to even use your small engine tools.

An increasing number of people are complaining about the abnormal number of problems with their chainsaws, ethanol in snowmobiles, generators, among a number of other small engine machinery used in the summer like lawnmowers, weedeaters and tillers.

Small engine mechanics confirm this saying their shops are as full as they've ever been with machinery that has broken down.

Some mechanics are also getting a little concerned about taking in the ethanol-damaged equipment, as many times they clean it, as with chainsaws, and have to bring them right back from using them in the field because ethanol leaves behind a hidden residue that can't be spotted with the naked eye.

A recent story about someone bringing a chainsaw in to be fixed, had the mechanic completely cleaning up the carburetor and the daiphrams, putting in fuel and air filters, and it started up in the shop ok. The owner took it out to use it, and after running for five minutes, had to bring it back to be looked at.

Ethanol can clog up just about everything, as in the real life example above, you can clean everything you can think up, and it still continues to fall apart. When the owner brought back the chainsaw after it broke down again, the next time around the lines would have to be checked to see if they were corroded.

Who wants to go through that with every small engine piece of machinery we have? It's ridiculous.

Another factor for the small engine industry is the concerns over safety and liability issues, as not only is there the equipment breaking down problem, but people could be hurt directly or indirectly from the failure of the products they manufacture.

In conclusion, valves can clog up, little metal parts rust, carburetors destroyes, as well as other small, but needed components.

Draining the ethanol based gas from the tanks isn't enough either, as I mentioned earlier, because of the residue - which is the component in ethanol that does the damage - will remain in the engine and chainsaw parts unseen.

While it doesn't work real well, some people have been helped slightly by adding Stabil to their non-2-cycle engine equipment. They unwittingly think that taking the ethanol mixed gas out that it will prevent the damage, but they are wrong.

Should you use ethanol in your chainsaws? Not at all if you can help it. There's nothing we can do to keep the engines and parts from gumming up and eventually failing.

Even the mechanics admit after cleaning it up there's not much they can do to prevent our chainsaws from being damaged again and again. We need to drop the ethanol hoax now. Think of the problems about to be released if the pressure to increase the mixture goes through!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Corn Results | Wheat, Soybeans Pressuring Prices

Corn results today are wheat and soybeans pressuring the prices down, along with a stronger U.S. dollar.

Chicago Board of Trade corn futures succumbed to outside pressure Tuesday, ending lower amid falling wheat and soybean markets, traders said.

March corn ended down 7 1/2 cents to $3.83 1/2 per bushel, May corn ended down 7 cents to $3.94 3/4 and July corn ended down 7 cents to $4.05 1/2.

The market had been higher for much of the day despite lower wheat and soybeans, but corn sank as those markets extended their losses.

"Wheat and beans are slam-dunking corn," said Vic Lespinasse, analyst for grainanalyst.com.

Weak crude oil and a stronger dollar weighed on corn and other commodities, analysts said.

The market climbed in early trading on technical strength and follow-through from Friday's sharp gains, said Shawn McCambridge, senior grains analyst for Prudential Bache. But McCambridge and other analysts said the market does not have a good reason to rally sharply.

"I think we're going to have to have some kind of a fundamental backing in order to continue to extend these gains," McCambridge said.

The demand outlook remains weak, with exports, ethanol and feed demand all suffering.

Traders noted a continued unwinding of the corn-soybean spread due to concerns that corn is losing acres to soybeans. Those concerns flared again with Informa Economics acreage projection released on Friday, a trader said. Some analysts said concerns about corn losing acreage are overblown, however.

Corn climbed above $4 in the March contract overnight and again early Tuesday, but retreated each time.

A trader called $4 "massive resistance," although McCambridge called it "a psychological benchmark we continue to watch."

South American weather remains a key focus of both corn and soybeans, and continued dry weather in Argentina is fueling concerns about crop damage. But support from the continuing dry weather there was mitigated by beneficial rains in Brazil, traders said.

CBOT oats futures ended lower. March oats were down 8 1/2 cents to $2.14 per bushel and May oats were down 8 1/2 cents to $2.23 1/4.

Ethanol futures were unchanged to slightly lower. February ethanol ended flat at $1.612 per gallon and March ethanol ended down $0.013 to $1.617.

-By Ian Berry, Dow Jones Newswires; 312-341-5778; ian.berry@dowjones.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
01-20-09 1527ET
Copyright (c) 2009 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.


Results for corn will continue to push downward in conjunction with wheat and soybeans. Oil prices didn't help, also falling, neither did the U.S. dollar getting stronger today help.

Marathon Oil Corp. | Gas Production 4th Quarter Down

Marathon Oil Corp. said Tuesday its oil and natural gas production in the fourth quarter was likely at the low end of its previous guidance range, in part from pipeline issues overseas and continued disruptions linked to last summer's hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Houston-based company estimated its liquid hydrocarbon and natural gas production available for sale during October-December period was around 401,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day, at the bottom of a previous forecast between 400,000 and 440,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day.Marathon provided an overview of market conditions for the October-December period as all major oil companies prepare to report earnings for the fourth quarter.After peaking above $147 a barrel in July, oil prices spent the remainder of 2008 falling fast. When the fourth quarter began Oct. 1, crude was trading at around $100 a barrel. Three months later, on Dec. 31, it settled at $44.60. [Read the full article]

Yesterday, Marathon Oil Corporation (MRO) provided a weaker-than-expected fourth quarter 2008 interim update (covering the first two months of the quarter). While weak commodity-price realizations were built into estimates and were expected to be the primary reason for negative comparisons with previous results, Marathon's results will also be affected by upstream production shortfalls. We expect that yesterday's guidance will prompt downward earnings revisions. The company reports fourth-quarter 2008 results on February 3, 2009. Marathon expects fourth-quarter production of oil and natural gas to average 415,000 oil-equivalent barrels per day (BOE/d), which is below the company's guidance for the quarter. Approximately two-thirds of Marathon's production comes from outside the U.S. [Read the full article]

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(MARKET WIRE)--Jan 14, 2009 -- InterOil Corporation (AMEX: IOC) today announced the appointment of Mr. Wayne Andrews as Vice President of Capital Markets. Mr. Andrews joins InterOil from Raymond James and Associates Inc., where he was Managing Director of Exploration & Production Equity Research. Focusing on the oil and natural gas industry, Wayne Andrews joined Raymond James in 1996 after spending three years as natural gas analyst at Schroder Wertheim. Prior to joining Schroder's he was the Vice President and Director of Research at John S. Herold Inc, a petroleum research and consulting firm. He also spent five years as a senior geophysicist
at Sun Company and Oryx Energy. Mr. Andrews has been recognized
in the Reuters Survey of the top analysts, the StartMine Top Analyst Survey and the Wall Street Journal Best on the Street Survey. Mr. [Read the full article]

SAN ANTONIO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Tesoro Corporation (NYSE:TSO) announced today that it expects fourth quarter 2008 earnings per share in the range of $0.60 to $0.75 per share, which includes net one-time adjustments of approximately $(0.29) per share. The one-time adjustments, using a marginal tax rate of 38%, include a $(0.41) per share after-tax accrual for doubtful accounts receivable, partially offset by an accrual reversal of $0.12 per share after-tax following a reduction in estimated costs associated with asset retirement obligations. In the course of our review of accounts receivable, we identified one material account as to which collection in the ordinary course of business was deemed to be unlikely. [Read the full article]

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Reasons 4th quarter gas production is down for Marathon Oil Corp. is largely due to ongoing disruptions from Gulf of Mexico hurricanes and overseas pipeline challenges.

MAG Silver Corp.| Cinco de Mayo Assay Results

MAG Silver Corp. releases assay results from Cinco de Mayo drilling

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Jan. 20, 2009) - MAG Silver Corp. (TSX:MAG)(NYSE Alternext US:MVG) ("MAG") is pleased to announce assay results from the ongoing drill program on its 100% owned Cinco de Mayo property in northern Chihuahua State, Mexico. Drilling is establishing the district-scale extent and zoning of silver, lead and zinc mineralization in the "Jose Manto". The drill program is also designed to search and test for the systems source. Results announced here add some of the higher grade and thicker intercepts drilled to date: Hole 84 cut a 2.72 metre zone grading 462 grams per tonne (g/t) (13.5 ounces per ton (opt)) silver, 10.06% lead and 13.62% zinc within an overall 12.37 metre thick mineralized zone. Drilling continues to demonstrate that the "Jose Manto" is part of a large Carbonate Replacement Deposit (CRD) system. Drilling is continuing with 3 drills as part of a board approved 2009 exploration budget of $4.0 million (out of an overall $17 million dollar budget for 2009) for the Cinco de Mayo project.

Assays are reported in the table below for 10 of 11 diamond drill holes (74 to 84). These holes were designed to define the limits of the Jose Manto, within its 1,000 metre long central portion, (see map below). Nine (9) of the holes were targeted on and encountered mineralization in the Jose Manto and its extensions (Holes 74 to 77 and 79 to 84). The remaining two (2) holes were drilled on other geological/geophysical targets. Assays are pending for Hole 83, which was drilled 4 kilometres to the west of the Jose Manto on a strong magnetic geophysical anomaly.

"Cinco continues to grow in size and complexity; both hallmarks of major CRD systems," said Dan MacInnis, MAG Silver President. "We are starting to better understand and target the strong structural controls on the high grade mineralization and follow these structures or ore fluid channelways back to source."

---------------------------------------------------------------------------Hole From: To: Interval Silver Silver Lead Zinc GoldID metres metres metres g/t Opt % % g/t---------------------------------------------------------------------------CM08-74 386.53 388.00 1.47 108 3.1 1.92 10.65 0.03---------------------------------------------------------------------------CM08-75 337.73 338.41 0.68 459 13.3 15.90 11.85 0.09---------------------------------------------------------------------------CM08-76 327.55 328.73 1.18 35 1.0 1.32 0.45 0.01--------------------------------------------------------------------------- 371.88 372.13 0.25 361 10.5 12.65 18.10 0.09---------------------------------------------------------------------------CM08-77 493.28 509.28 16.00 21 0.6 0.51 3.03 0.04---------------------------------------------------------------------------Including 497.68 498.85 1.17 20 0.6 0.63 6.52 0.07--------------------------------------------------------------------------- 506.40 508.50 2.10 52 1.5 1.19 9.81 0.07--------------------------------------------------------------------------- 523.30 530.61 7.31 35 1.0 0.52 2.15 0.06---------------------------------------------------------------------------Including 526.41 528.34 1.93 106 3.1 1.49 5.51 0.08---------------------------------------------------------------------------CM08-78 NSV ---------------------------------------------------------------------------CM08-79 465.40 472.26 6.86 86 2.5 1.93 2.86 0.07---------------------------------------------------------------------------Including 465.40 465.58 0.18 1,835 53.5 20.10 6.29 0.45--------------------------------------------------------------------------- 488.77 489.62 0.85 218 6.4 4.40 7.22 0.19---------------------------------------------------------------------------CM08-80 499.75 500.92 1.17 7 0.2 0.13 1.15 0.01---------------------------------------------------------------------------CM08-81 737.15 739.60 2.45 48 1.4 0.25 2.06 0.08--------------------------------------------------------------------------- 751.20 754.62 3.42 71 2.1 0.17 1.41 0.03---------------------------------------------------------------------------CM08-82 NSV ---------------------------------------------------------------------------CM08-83 Assays Pending ---------------------------------------------------------------------------CM08-84 484.87 497.24 12.37 125 3.6 2.30 4.95 0.03---------------------------------------------------------------------------Including 484.87 487.59 2.72 462 13.5 10.06 13.62 0.02--------------------------------------------------------------------------- 603.82 609.25 5.43 74 2.2 0.90 5.23 0.06---------------------------------------------------------------------------Including 603.82 606.00 2.18 158 4.6 1.89 10.94 0.14---------------------------------------------------------------------------(i) nsv equals no significant values.

Cinco de Mayo Exploration

MAG's exploration has defined major NW and NE structural and stratigraphic controls on silver-lead-zinc (gold) sulphide mineralization and our ability to test the system with large drilling step outs is testimony to the widespread nature and potential size of this carbonate replacement (CRD) system. Recent drilling results reveal coherent zoning developed for over 2 kilometres along the principal northwest Jose Manto structural corridor: from massive silver-lead-zinc sulphide mantos to silver-gold-lead-zinc mineralized tungsten (scheelite) bearing skarn. The strongest skarn is associated with felsite dikes that show distinctive brecciation, silicification and sericitization and are overall very similar to mineralization-related felsites in major CRDs throughout the region. Mineralization also appears to thicken along this trend, as does the number of individual mantos and the number of carbonate units that are mineralized. This zoning is precisely what is predicted by MAG's CRD exploration model and provides strong exploration vectoring. MAG's focus remains to determine the overall extent of the CRD system, so on-going exploration will attempt to track this zoning towards the system source with a combination of drilling and geophysics.

The skarn and felsite intercepts appear to cluster around the intersection of the northwest structural corridor with the strong northeast-trending Leones Fault that cuts across the limestones of the Sierra Santa Lucia to the southwest. The Leones Fault is locally marked by strong marble and other high-temperature alteration styles indicating gradually increasing proximity to an intrusive heat source. Drilling is currently underway on both ends of this structure: on the east side to determine the geometry of the felsite dikes and associated mineralization and alteration, and on the west side of the range to determine if the large magnetic anomaly shown on Mexican government regional geophysical maps marks a major magmatic center.

Quality Assurance and Control: The Company has in place a quality control program to ensure best practices in sampling and analysis. Samples were collected by employees of consulting firm Minera Cascabel S.A. de C.V. on behalf of MAG Silver Corp. The surface rock samples are shipped directly in security sealed bags to ALS-Chemex Laboratories preparation facilities in Hermosillo, Sonora or Chihuahua City (Certification ISO 9001). Sample pulps are shipped from there to ALS-Chemex Laboratories in North Vancouver, Canada for analysis. All samples were assayed for gold by standard fire assay-ICP finish with a 50 gram charge. Gold values in excess of 3.00 g/t were re-analyzed by fire assay with gravimetric finish for greater accuracy. Silver, zinc, copper and lead values in excess of 100 ppm, 1%, 1% and 1% respectively are also repeated by fire assay.

Qualified Person: Dr. Peter Megaw, Ph.D., C.P.G., has acted as the qualified person as defined in National Instrument 43-101 for this disclosure and supervised the preparation of the technical information in this release. Dr. Megaw has a Ph.D. in geology and more than 20 years of relevant experience focussed on silver and gold mineralization, and exploration and drilling in Mexico. He is a certified Professional Geologist (CPG 10227) by the American Institute of Professional Geologists and an Arizona registered geologist (ARG 21613). Dr. Megaw is not independent as he is a Director and Shareholder of MAG and is the vendor of this project, whereby he may receive additional shares. Dr. Megaw is satisfied that the results are verified based on an inspection of the core, a review of the sampling procedures, the credentials of the professionals completing the work and the visual nature of the silver and base metal sulphides within a district where he is familiar with the style and continuity of mineralization.

About MAG Silver Corp. (www.magsilver.com)

MAG is focused on district scale projects located within the Mexican Silver Belt. Our mission is to become one of the premier companies in the silver mining industry. MAG and its partner Fresnillo plc are delineating a significant new silver vein discovery on the Juanicipio Joint Venture in Zacatecas State, Mexico. The joint venture has outlined an initial inferred resource estimate of 237.8 million ounces of silver (see press release dated June 18, 2008). MAG's 44% interest equates to 104.5 million ounces of silver. In addition to the silver resource the estimate also reports a total inferred resource of 480,000 ounces of gold and almost 1 billion pounds of combined lead and zinc (457,700 tonnes). (Investors should refer to the June 18, 2008 press release for disclaimer information regarding resources). Fresnillo plc has made an unsolicited bid for all of the outstanding shares of MAG Silver. MAG has also identified a new silver, lead and zinc discovery at its 100% owned Cinco de Mayo property. MAG is based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Its common shares trade on the TSX under the symbol MAG and on the NYSE Alternext US (formerly AMEX) under the symbol MVG.

On behalf of the Board of MAG SILVER CORP.

Dan MacInnis, President and CEO

This release includes certain statements that may be deemed to be "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the US Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements in this release, other than statements of historical facts are forward looking statements, including statements that address future mineral production, reserve potential, exploration drilling, exploitation activities and events or developments. Forward-looking statements are often, but not always, identified by the use of words such as "seek", "anticipate", "plan", "continue", "estimate", "expect", "may", "will", "project", "predict", "potential", "targeting", "intend", "could", "might", "should", "believe" and similar expressions. These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements. Although MAG believes the expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, such statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, changes in commodities prices, changes in mineral production performance, exploitation and exploration successes, continued availability of capital and financing, and general economic, market or business conditions, political risk, currency risk and capital cost inflation. In addition, forward-looking statements are subject to various risks, including that data is incomplete and considerable additional work will be required to complete further evaluation, including but not limited to drilling, engineering and socio-economic studies and investment. The reader is referred to the Company's filings with the SEC and Canadian securities regulators for disclosure regarding these and other risk factors. There is no certainty that any forward looking statement will come to pass and investors should not place undue reliance upon forward-looking statements.

Cautionary Note to U.S. Investors: The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission permits U.S. mining companies, in their filings with the SEC, to disclose only those mineral deposits that a company can economically and legally extract or produce. We use certain terms in this press release, such as "Inferred resources," that the SEC guidelines prohibit U.S. registered companies from including in their filings with the SEC.

Please Note:

Investors are urged to consider closely the disclosures in MAG's annual and quarterly reports and other public filings, accessible through the Internet at www.sedar.com and www.sec.gov/edgar/searchedgar/companysearch.html.

Neither the Toronto Stock Exchange nor the New York Stock Exchange Alternext US LLC has reviewed or accepted responsibility for the accuracy or adequacy of this news release, which has been prepared by management.

For more information, please contact

MAG Silver Corp.
Gordon Neal
VP Corp. Development
(604) 630-1399 or Toll Free: 1-866-630-1399
(604) 484-4710 (FAX)
Email: info@magsilver.com
Website: www.magsilver.com Click here to see all recent news from this company Privacy Statement Terms of Service Sitemap © 2009 Marketwire, Incorporated. All rights reserved.
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1-800-774-9473 (US) 1-888-299-0338 (Canada) +44-20-7562-6550 (UK)

MAG Silver Corp.'s Cinco de Mayo assay results focus on some of the higher grade and thicker intercepts drilled to date.

First Majestic Silver Corp.: San Martin Silver Mine Update

First Majestic Silver Corp. announces update at San Martin Silver Mine in Mexico

FIRST MAJESTIC SILVER CORP. (TSX: FR)(PINK SHEETS: FRMSF)(FRANKFURT: FMV)(WKN: A0LHKJ) ("First Majestic" or the "Company") is pleased to announce an update regarding its activities in Mexico at the San Martin Silver Mine and a new NI 43-101 Reserve/Resource update.

This newly updated technical report with a cut-off date of September 30, 2008 has resulted in a significant increase in overall Reserves and Resources at the San Martin Silver Mine. Total Proven & Probable Reserves have increased by 41.83%, while Total Measured and Indicated Resources declined by 51.55% due to the upgrading of those Resources to Reserves and Total Inferred Resources have increased by 110.94%.

The San Martin Silver Mine is located beside the town of San Martin de Bolanos in the Bolanos River valley, in the northern portion of the State of Jalisco, Mexico. The San Martin operation is 150 kilometres by air or 250 kilometres by paved road north of Guadalajara. The property covers an area in excess of 7,800 hectares of which much remains unexplored.

The San Martin mine and mill has been in operation since 1983 and is a major contributor to the economy of the town of San Martin de Bolanos which has a population of around 3,000 people. The mill for much of 2008 has been operating at 750 tonnes per day. An expansion program launched in June 2008 resulted in the mill capacity reaching 950 tpd in December 2008.

The San Martin drill program from January 1st, 2007 to September 30th, 2008 included 127 drill holes with a total depth of 19,619 metres of core, in addition to about 3,906 metres of underground development for mining, drill sites and access preparations.

During the recently completed exploration program, new mineralized zones were discovered in the Zuloaga (Pinolea and Ballenas levels and Cymoid zone), La Blanca, Rosario-Condesa, La Mancha, Huichola and La Hedionda veins.

The following summary tables were taken from the complete San Martin Silver Mine NI 43-101 Technical Report prepared by Pincock Allen & Holt, Lakewood, Colorado (PAH). Shareholders and interested parties are encouraged to read this positive report which can be viewed on SEDAR (www.sedar.com) and the Company's web site at www.firstmajestic.com.

Total Proven + Probable Mineral Reserves (Mineable Reserves)
(1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
Grade Metal Contained
------------------- -----------------------
Silver Silver (oz.)
Silver Lead Zinc only including
Category Tonnes g/tonne % (4) % oz. Lead Credit
Proven Reserves
(Oxides) 527,373 273 4,636,211 4,805,765
Probable Reserves
(Oxides) 243,091 276 2,154,571 2,232,727
Total Proven and
Probable Reserves 770,464 274 6,790,782 7,038,492
Total Measured + Indicated Resources (2, 3, 5)
Grade Metal Contained
------------------- -----------------------
Silver Silver (oz.)
Silver Lead Zinc only including
Category Tonnes g/tonne % (4) % oz. Lead Credit
Measured Resources
(Oxides) 122,404 233 915,774 955,128
Measured Resources
(Sulfides) 415,771 97 0.87 2.07 1,292,213 1,292,213
(Oxides) 294,361 288 2,729,201 2,823,840
(Sulfides) 670,684 116 0.94 1.64 2,498,639 2,498,639
Total Measured
and Indicated
(Oxides plus
Sulfides) 1,503,220 154 0.91 1.80 7,435,827 7,569,820
Proven and
Reserves Plus
Measured and
Resources 2,273,684 195 0.91 1.80 14,226,609 14,608,312
Total Inferred Resources (2, 3, 5)
Grade Metal Contained
------------------- -----------------------
Silver Silver (oz.)
Silver Lead Zinc only including
Category Tonnes g/tonne % (4) % oz. Lead Credit
Total Inferred
(Oxides plus
Sulfides) 8,200,000 185 1.40 1.60 48,900,000 50,037,365
(1) Estimated Reserves are exclusive of Resources.
(2) Cut Off estimates as 146 g/tonne Ag for oxides, and 87 g/tonne Ag for
dump recovered; Ageq equals Au/Pb credits equals 10g/tonne Ag
(3) Metal prices at $708/oz-Au, $12.00/oz-Ag, $0.75/lb-Pb, $0.50/lb-Zn.
(4) Mine dilution is included at a minimum mining width of 2.00m.
Estimates do not include mining recovery.
(5) Base metals, Lead and Zinc are not recovered due to low market prices.

Oxidized ore is presently being mined from the Zuloaga vein and from the adjacent La Blanca, Rosario and Cinco Senores Veins. Exploration and development is on-going on these vein structures, on other sub-parallel crossing veins and in a recently identified cymoid structure of the Zuloaga vein at the Ballenas level, in the blocks 5,400 and 5,550, as well as on the Rosario-Condesa vein system. Primary mineralization in sulfides with lead, zinc and copper occurs at the deepest levels, San Juan and San Carlos of the Zuloaga vein, however, these areas are not presently being mined.

The mine has been developed primarily on the main Zuloaga vein which has been identified over a strike length of three kilometres, and consists of six main levels spanning a vertical interval of approximately 350 metres. The main access levels, San Jose, Santa Maria, Ballenas, Cangrejos, San Pablo, San Juan and San Carlos, are accessible from surface adits and various interconnecting underground ramps totalling over 70 kilometres.

Exploration potential for finding and developing new Resources/Reserves in the San Martin district still remains promising. As a result of this recently completed aggressive exploration program, several targets have been identified for follow up drilling when the Company wishes to commence the next program. Five target zones within the main Zuloaga vein have been identified and six other areas; the Rosario, Escondida, Cangrejos, Ballenas, San Jose and Cymoid zone, have also been identified as primary targets.

Quality Assurance & Quality Control

To evaluate sample quality control, San Martin performs multiple assays, up to three times on some samples, and periodic check analyses on samples. Since 2004, the San Martin mine has sent approximately 10 pulp samples per month to ALS Chemex Laboratories and duplicate samples to SGS Labs in Guadalajara for analysis, which has had good correlations.

Following detailed geological and geotechnical logging, drill core samples are split on-site by diamond saw. One quarter of the core is submitted to the San Martin certified laboratory for sample preparation and analysis, which are assayed for silver by standard fire assay methods and lead by atomic absorption. The other quarter of the core is shipped to the SGS preparation laboratory in Durango, Mexico for drying, crushing, pulverizing and assaying for gold and silver by fire assay and 30 elements ICP package. Systematic assaying of standards and blanks are performed for precision and accuracy; check assays are regularly conducted by SGS or Chemex. The remaining half core is retained on-site for verification and future reference purposes.

Qualified Person

The Company's independent Qualified Persons under National Instrument 43-101 who have reviewed the contents of this news release and who authored the most recent qualifying report are Leonel Lopez, C.P.G., P.G., and Richard Addison P.E., Principal Process Engineer, of Pincock Allen & Holt, who are employees of PAH and are independent of the Company.

First Majestic is a producing silver company focused in Mexico and is aggressively pursuing its business plan to become a senior silver producer through the development of its existing assets and the pursuit through acquisition of additional assets that contribute to achieving its corporate growth objectives.


Keith Neumeyer, President & CEO

This press release includes certain "Forward-Looking Statements" within the meaning of section 21E of the United States Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, included herein, including without limitation, statements regarding potential mineralization and reserves, exploration results and future plans and objectives of First Majestic Silver Corp. are forward-looking statements that involve various risks and uncertainties. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements.

Cautionary Notes to U.S. Investors Concerning Reserve and Resource Estimates

The definitions of proven and probable reserves used in National Instrument 43-101 - Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects ("NI 43-101") differ from the definitions in the United States Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") Industry Guide 7. Under SEC Guide 7 standards, a "Final" or "Bankable" feasibility study is required to report reserves, the three year history average price is used in any reserve or cash flow analysis to designate reserves and the primary environmental analysis or report must be filed with the appropriate governmental authority.

In addition, the terms "mineral resource", "measured mineral resource", "indicated mineral resource" and "inferred mineral resource" are defined in and required to be disclosed by NI 43-101; however, these terms are not defined terms under SEC Industry Guide 7 and normally are not permitted to be used in reports and registration statements filed with the SEC. Investors are cautioned not to assume that any part or all of mineral deposits in these categories will ever be converted into reserves. "Inferred mineral resources" have a great amount of uncertainty as to their existence, and great uncertainty as to their economic and legal feasibility. It cannot be assumed that all or any part of an inferred mineral resource will ever be upgraded to a higher category. Under Canadian rules, estimates of inferred mineral resources may not form the basis of feasibility or pre-feasibility studies, except in rare cases.

First Majestic Silver Corp.
Keith Neumeyer
President & CEO
(604) 688-3033 or Toll Free: 1-866-529-2807
(604) 639-8873 (FAX)
Email: info@firstmajestic.com
Website: www.firstmajestic.com

Majestic Silver Corp. concludes there is a significant increase in overall Reserves and Resources at the San Martin Silver Mine.

DRDGOLD: South African Gold Miner Cutting 1,335 Jobs

DRDGOLD, the fourth largest gold producer in South Africa announced it is cutting 1,335 jobs at it shut down a mine east of Johannesburg.

The workers losing their jobs are part of a contingent that labored at the ERPM mine that closed in October for maintanence related to underground water problems. The ERPM mine had to be shut down underground as the pumps used to handle the underwater situation could get rid of the rising water levels fast enough, making it impossible for mine workers to continue.

According to DRDGOLD, they've transferred some remaing workers to other operations, while other accepted volunatary retrenchment.

The gold company added there was no way they could continue gold mining operations, as it is beyond the financial means of the company to retain full time workers at an operational level.

Gold mining in South Africa is the major export for the country, being 9 percent of overall export earnings for the South African economy.

DRDGOLD and the overall South African gold mining industry continues to be under pressure, as more job cuts will come until operations are improved.

World Gold Council: Gold Investment Digest Report - 2008

World Gold Council report of gold performance for 2008

NEW YORK & LONDON - (Business Wire) Gold proved its metal in 2008, according to World Gold Council’s latest Gold Investment Digest, providing a safe haven and long term store of value for investors in record volume and outperforming many other assets in relative price and volatility terms.

Despite one of the most tumultuous years in financial markets since the Great Depression, gold ended the year on a firm footing recording its eighth consecutive annual price increase. The last three months of 2008 was a quarter of two halves. While distressed gold sales by some institutional investors meeting margin calls on other assets had a dampening effect on price in the first few weeks of the final quarter, by mid November broader recognition that the dire financial situation was likely to endure for some time, fears about the credit system and future inflationary impact of shifts in monetary policy and the dollar resuming its secular decline led gold to rally by around $150/oz. Gold, therefore, closed the year at US$869.75.oz, up 4% from the same period in 20071.

Gold price volatility remained high by historical standards at the end of the year, at 37% (gold’s long-run price volatility is around 12.5%), although still below most other asset classes. However, underpinned by robust and diverse market fundamentals, gold traded in a tighter range than other financial assets, major world indices and most other commodities.

“Gold’s performance over the year is impressive considering the massive wealth destruction that took place elsewhere in financial and commodities markets,” said Natalie Dempster, Head of Investment, North America for World Gold Council. “Impacted to a lesser extent by the financial crisis, which affected equities, and declining industrial demand, which affected physical assets, gold outperformed global equities and all major commodities during 2008.”

During the final quarter, investors turned to physical-backed gold ETFs in large numbers, buying 96 tonnes of incremental gold via exchange trade funds. December recorded the strongest monthly inflow into gold ETFs, with investors buying 44 tonnes of gold. Investment in gold ETFs, monitored by the World Gold Council, now stands at around US$33 billion2.

“As investors became increasingly concerned by the state of the economy during the course of the year, they turned to gold as a store of value. Within the third and fourth quarters of 2008, inflows into gold ETFs reached record levels as investors were motivated by gold’s lack of counterparty risk and the opportunity to hold a real, physical asset,” Dempster said. “As we move into 2009, continued uncertainty over the financial landscape, combined with future inflationary fears resulting from interest rates cuts and quantitative easing by central banks, are likely to pique investor interest in gold further.”

Gold Investment Digest, a concise and comprehensive analysis of investment trends and economic indicators that influence investment interest in and the demand for gold, can be downloaded at www.gold.org. Users will need to register, which is free of charge. At the same address, users can access a range of investment statistics, which we have completely overhauled to extend the country coverage and make the materials easier to download. For further information, or should you like to learn more about investment in gold, please contact:

Notes to Editors:

World Gold Council

World Gold Council (WGC), a commercially-driven marketing organization, is funded by the world’s leading gold mining companies. A global advocate for gold, WGC aims to promote the demand for gold in all its forms through marketing activities in major international markets. For further information visit www.gold.org.

World Gold Council’s latest Gold Investment Digest concludes 2009 should result in increased gold demand.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Ethanol Problems Continue to Pressure Abandoning the Industry

Ethanol is becoming an increasingly controversial fuel source and problem, as the taxpayer subsidy is the only reason it can even be seriously considered as an alternative to regular gasoline.

The effect of ethanol on small engines has been a disaster, and yet proponents continue to ignore that and push for even higher levels of the mix in order to try to save the propped-up industry.

So far the basic standard has been E10, but even at that level it's harmful to owners of equipment with small engines,

With the cold weather this year, snowmobile owners have had a great opportunity to enjoy the outdoors, but the harm done by ethynol to small engines have brought them to the repair shop more often than not. Repair shop workers have said they're filled with machines waiting to be fixed because of the damage done from ethanol-ruined engines.

Other products used that are always are ruined in the repair shops at this time are snowblowers and chainsaws. Fears are the bad gas will cause even more harm in the biofuel disaster, and end up not only hurting equipment, but people as well. The danger is very real.

In the summer months all the usual power equipment we use like ATVs, lawnmowers and boats, among others, have the same survival challenge, as the engines face the same problems of their winter counterparts.

Along with starting and running problems, ethanol can also eat away at parts of the engine, effectively destroying them.

The two major problems beyond that, are the environment and food prices, which are impacted negatively from ethanol, especially corn-based ethanol. But even cellulosic ethanol won't be any better, and it'll be much more expensive, raising food prices even higher.

A recent study said oil would have to go to a price level of $233 a barrel in order for ethanol to break even.

The ethanol hoax and scam needs to be ended and put to rest. There are already numerous uprising against the misguided plan, and petitions are being signed and recommendations being made to stop the folly.

One politician even recently said that the reason we have to keep going with ethanol is because we've spent so much money on it already. That's plain nuts! You don't keep spending money in order to justify bad policies. It makes no sense at all.

Other than catering to the rich farm lobby, there's nothing good in pursuing the ethanol fiasco. The idea that jobs are being created is a fantasy. Sure you can get the loans and put construction workers together to build a plant. But like they're finding out, it's been a cruel joke on those that were given false hopes; especially the rural areas.

Outdoor equipment companies rightly assert that ethanol backers don't give an honest account fo the dangers and problems consumers will and do experience from the harmful effects of the biofuel.

Even if this weren't difficult times, ethanol would be a complete disaster, but when include the extensive damage to the equipment of people, potential bodily harm, cost of repairs, environmental inputs and higher costs of food, it's cruel to destroy people's lives continuing on with the harmful ethanol initiative.

What's the best way to protect your equipment? Don't put ethanol in them in the first place. All you'll get are more problems and headaches, along with potentially dangerous situations.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Winning submission in the 2008 Moody's Mega Math Challenge: Ethanol: Not All It Seems To Be

A group of students from High Technology High School in Lincroft, New Jersey, submitted a paper entitled "Ethanol: Not All It Seems To Be," and won the 2008 Moody's Mega Math Challenge, along with their work being published in the January 2009 issue of The Mathematical Association of America's College Mathematics Journal.

Some of the conclusions reached the high environmental and economic costs of ethanol replacing gasoline, nuclear power would be far better for alternative energy, and prices wouldn't be cost effective until oil was selling at $233 a barrel.

Ethanol: Not All It Seems To Be can be read here. Tom Jackson, Afanasiy Yermakov, Jason Zukus, and Kelly Roache were the four students that wrote the paper.

Hunt Gold Corporation -- Sale of "Lookout Silver Mine"

Company Enters Into Agreement to Dispose of Its "Lookout Silver" Mining Interests

Hunt Gold Corporation (PINKSHEETS: HGLC) confirms that it is disposing of its "Lookout Silver" Mine. The Company is in the process of staking additional claims surrounding this mine and is disposing of the "entire package."

This sale is being effected to allow the Company to concentrate exclusively on its Gold Mining interests and to obtain further funds to fund the massively expedited exploration and drilling campaigns currently underway.

The proceeds from the sale of the "Lookout Silver" Mine package; in the amount of US$65 million are being retained by the Company.

This transaction will be concluded on February 2, 2009.


Hunt Gold Corporation is a Gold Mining & Exploration Company focused on the development and exploration of its Gold properties, namely "Mockingbird," "Ambassador," "Golden Eagle," "Gladstone Lookout," "Lady Alde," "Williamson," "Blue Copper Mine," "Starlight," "American Flag," "Venezia," "Stormcloud," "Cherry," "Buffalo Limecap," "Red Cloud" and "Federal." The Company has completed the sale of its "American Molygold" interests and will be distributing the entire sale proceeds through a Stock Dividend to its stockholders, this to be announced in January of 2009. The Company has entered into an Agreement to dispose of its "Lookout Silver" Mining Interests on February 2, 2009.

This release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended and such forward-looking statements are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. "Forward-looking statements" describe future expectations, plans, results, or strategies and are generally preceded by words such as "may," "future," "plan" or "planned," "will" or "should," "expected," "anticipates," "draft," "eventually" or "projected." You are cautioned that such statements are subject to a multitude of risks and uncertainties that could cause future circumstances, events, or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements, including the risks that actual results may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, and other risks identified in a company's annual report on Form 10-K or 10-KSB and other filings made by such company with the SEC.

For further information contact:
Hunt Gold Corporation
E Mail: Email Contact
Telephone: (954) 840-6956
Contact: Mr. Michael G Saner

VeraSun Energy Dumping More of its Plants - 7 More Put Up for Auction

As part of the bankruptcy court financing agreement, VeraSun Energy Corp. is going to auction off seven of its biorefineries.

Stuggling to survive, the company needs to raise about $12.3 million just to run its remaining plants and pay its workforce through April 30, according to its filing in a Delaware bankruptcy court.

Per the agreement, the auction will start on March 16 and close on March 31. I'm not sure anybody would want them even for free. It'll be interesting to see if there are any takers.

At this time only four of VeraSun's ethanol plants remain operating, with the rest shut down, desperately hoping the economy will turn around so they can start them up again. I think they're out of luck on that one.

Aaron Regent Takes Over CEO Reigns of Barrick Gold

Aaron Regent became the head of Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX) today, succeeding company founder and chairman Peter Munk, 81. Munk had stepped into the role when former CEO Greg Wilkins had to go on leave for medical reasons. Wilkins stepped down in July.

While Regent is one of the younger CEOs in the industry, he comes with a lot of experience in mining, as a co-CEO and senior managing partner of Brookfield Asset Management, and also as president of Falconbridge Ltd., a global mining company.

Munk said concerning hiring Regent to head the company he launched:

"I watched that (sale) from the sidelines and I think there was nobody in the mining industry who would not have had the greatest admiration for Aaron's sense of strategic evaluation. I think truly for a man who is 40-odd-years-old and has Aaron's kind of experience, the future is unlimited."

Laying out his priorities for the company, Regent said he's going to focus on exploration, project development and acquisitions, but quickly added that things aren't going to be changing much going ahead, as things are operationally solid.

His first steps will be to travel to visit the assets of the company to build up and understanding of the entire company, along with spending some time getting to know his management team and receiving their input.

Last quarter the company reported net profits of $254 million, down from the $345 million last year.

Barrick Gold is the largest gold mining company in the world.

Petrobras Says Oil and Gas Production Up 4.3 Percent Over Last Year

The good news for Brazil's government-run company Petrobras (PZE), is overall its output increased by 4.3 percent in 2008 in contrast to output in 2007. The bad news is their international oil and gas production both fell.

Considering today's economic climate, it still isn't a bad performance.

On the domestic side, which is where the major production of the company comes from, oil and gas production grew to almost 2.2 million barrels a day, while overall production was 2.4 million barrels a day.

On the international side of things, gas fell by 8.3 percent to 17,063 cubic meters a day, while oil declined by 2 percent to 123,635 barrels a day.

Most of the international drop came from the hurrican season as well as some of the maturer oil fields fell in production.

Wheat Prices Will Fall as Demand Dries Up

Some traders are looking for any tidbit of information to keep the wheat prices up, but I don't think they can hold for too long.

Much of the argument for wheat prices holding is the dry weather in a couple regions in South America.

But with prices higher now than the fundamentals warrant, it's hard to believe people seriously think losing a little bit of the global crop will really make much difference. There's so much wheat available that it would take something of epic proportions to keep prices up.

Even add in the possibility that the cold front in the U.S. may damage some wheat crop if there isn't any snow cover, and that still doesn't change the fact of the huge global supply available.

Most of what's been driving the prices up over the last couple months has been the re-entry of some funds into the market, along with the soybean rally. Over the last 6 weeks wheat futures have risen approximately 25 percent.

With demand so low, I don't see that being able to continue in any sustainable way in the months ahead.

The one unknown is when the U.S. dollar will start collapsing under the weight of the huge amounts of money being used to stimulate the U.S. economy. That would of course make exporting wheat much cheaper, and could increase sales.

The problem is there's no way of knowing how long that will take, so it can only be watched for, not counted on, as far as timing goes. When it does happen though, it will be a boon to commodity producers in the U.S.

Concerning demand, the USDA on Monday projected the ending stocks for U.S. wheat in 2008 - 2009 stand at 655 million bushels, an increase of 32 million from December's estimates. With nowhere to really send that wheat, as demand is so soft and wheat so plentiful, it will stay in storage until there's someone to sell it to.

Even that will continue to be a challenge as for the same time period, wheat consumption accroding to the USDA estimates, are being lowered.

Livestock markets have no interest at this time in buying either, as they're struggling as much as anyone else, with exports down and profits under pressure. Cost inputs and lower priced global wheat remains major factors in these decisions.

While there's nothing that can be done about it now, the real problem stems from last years' prices, where everything went right for U.S. wheat farmers, and supply was down globally. Farmers responded predictably by putting more wheat in the ground for this season, contributing in part to the current glut.

This wasn't too smart, as the chances of having two years in a row like that are almost nil, and they knew foreign farmers would respond the same at lower costs. Farmers, as well as anybody in business must learn if they missed it this time around, there's not much guarantee they hit it the next.

It's expected that spring wheat acreage planted this year will drop, especially if prices don't come back, which they are highly unlikely to do.

Kenya Seeking $406 Million in Food Aid in the Midst of Corruption and Bad Policy

Kenya Prime Minister Raila Odinga

Kenya has asked the international community for $406 million in food aid, but they aren't receiving a friendly response.

At the outset that may seem cruel, but in reality much of this isn't related to the asserted drought, but by terrible planning and corruption within the country. No one wants to throw money or corn at a situation that will not do what it was meant to do.

For example, Prime Minister Raila Odinga deliberately blocked plans to expand the storage facilities for grain in the country, although he's in denial on it making things worse.

Terrible Kenyan policies like forcing farmers to sell grain only to the government, along with "targeted price controls," according to U.S. Ambassador Michael Ranneberger, have been significant factors in the alleged food crisis. Ranneberger added that it possibly could have been the impetus behind reports of corruption as well.

The problem is Kenya must get rid of its terrible policies, and from there develop more grain storage capacity in order to handle what may be sent to them.

Reports that some people have been selling large amounts of corn to nearby countries has also been acknowledged, although it's difficult to ascertain whether it's because of greed alone, or lack of storage is driving their actions. It's probably a little bit of both.

The bottom line is, how can countries send millions worth of aid in difficult economic times like these, when there's no guarantee it'll reach the people it was meant to help?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Sunoco to Release Fourth Quarter Earnings

PHILADELPHIA--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Sunoco, Inc. (NYSE:SUN) said today that it will release earnings for the fourth quarter of 2008 on Wednesday evening, February 4, 2009. The Company will hold a conference call on Thursday, February 5, 2009 at 3:00 p.m. ET to discuss its fourth quarter results. Those wishing to listen can access the call through Sunoco's website at www.SunocoInc.com. A replay will be available beginning approximately two hours following the completion of the call. A number of presentation slides will accompany the audio portion of the call and will be available to be viewed and printed shortly before the call begins.

Individuals wishing to listen to the call on the Company's website will need Windows Media Player™, which can be downloaded free of charge from Microsoft or from Sunoco's Conference Call page. To view and print the slides, you will need Acrobat Reader™, which can be downloaded free of charge from Adobe or from Sunoco's Conference Call page.

Sunoco, Inc., headquartered in Philadelphia, PA, is a leading manufacturer and marketer of petroleum and petrochemical products. With 910,000 barrels per day of refining capacity, approximately 4,700 retail sites selling gasoline and convenience items, approximately 6,000 miles of crude oil and refined product owned and operated pipelines and 44 product terminals, Sunoco is one of the largest independent refiner-marketers in the United States. Sunoco is a significant manufacturer of petrochemicals with annual sales of approximately five billion pounds, largely chemical intermediates used to make fibers, plastics, film and resins. Utilizing a unique, patented technology, Sunoco's cokemaking facilities in the United States have the capacity to manufacture approximately 3.0 million tons annually of high-quality metallurgical-grade coke for use in the steel industry. Sunoco also is the operator of, and has an equity interest in, a 1.7 million tons-per-year cokemaking facility in Vitoria, Brazil.

Source: Sunoco, Inc.

Sunoco, Inc.
Thomas Golembeski (media)
Tom Harr (investors)

Advance notice of 4th quarter and full year 2008 results and interim dividend announcement

At 07.00 GMT (08.00 CET and 02.00 EST) on Thursday 29 January, 2009 Royal Dutch Shell plc will release its fourth quarter and full year results and fourth quarter interim dividend announcement for 2008.

Murphy Oil Schedules Earnings Conference Call

EL DORADO, Arkansas, January 7, 2009 – Murphy Oil Corporation (NYSE:MUR) has scheduled its conference call at 12:00 p.m. Central Time on Thursday, January 29 to review fourth quarter 2008 earnings, which will be announced Wednesday afternoon, January 28. ACT Teleconferencing is handling arrangements for the call. Interested parties may participate by dialing 1-800-240-2430 and referencing reservation number 11124677. The call will also be broadcast live over the internet and can be accessed through the Investor Relations section of Murphy Oil’s website at (http://www.murphyoilcorp.com/ir). All investors, analysts, media, employees and the general public are invited to participate.

Online replays of the call will be available through Murphy Oil’s website and a recording of the call will be available through Monday, February 2 by dialing 1-800-405-2236. Audio downloads will be available on the Murphy website through March 1 and via Thomson StreetEvents for their service subscribers.

For More Information
Dory Stiles
Investor/ Media Relations
P.O. Box 7000
El Dorado, AR 71731-7000
(870) 864-6496

Marathon Oil Corporation Provides Fourth Quarter 2008 Interim Update

HOUSTON, Jan. 13 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Marathon Oil Corporation (NYSE: MRO) today is providing information on market factors and operating conditions that occurred during the fourth quarter of 2008 that could impact the Company's quarterly financial results. The market indicators and Company estimates noted below and in the attached schedule may differ significantly from actual results. The Company will report fourth quarter results on Feb. 3, 2009, and will conduct a conference call and webcast that same day. Details of the earnings conference call and webcast are noted at the end of this release.

Exploration and Production

Liquid hydrocarbon and natural gas production sold during the fourth quarter is estimated to be approximately 415,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd). Revenues are reported based on production sold during the period which can vary from production available for sale primarily as a result of the timing of international crude oil liftings and natural gas sales. Liquid hydrocarbon and natural gas production available for sale during the fourth quarter is expected to be approximately 401,000 boepd, which is 3 percent higher than the third quarter 2008 result of 389,000 boepd. The available for sale estimate was at the bottom of the 400,000 to 440,000 boepd fourth quarter guidance due primarily to three major factors: longer than expected downtime at the offshore Equatorial Guinea Alba platform due to pipeline issues; lower than expected Gulf of Mexico production from continued impacts related to 2008 hurricanes; and, the Oct. 31, 2008 sale of Marathon's non-core interests in the Heimdal area offshore Norway.

As shown in the attached table, Marathon's average liquid hydrocarbon realization for the first two months of the fourth quarter, as compared to the third quarter of 2008, decreased $51.11 per barrel domestically and $49.80 per barrel internationally, reflecting the general market price movements during the first two months of the quarter. For the entire fourth quarter of 2008, the average West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil market price indicator was $59.14 per barrel lower than the third quarter of 2008 while the average Dated Brent indicator decreased $59.61 per barrel.

Marathon's domestic average natural gas price realization for October and November decreased $3.11 per thousand cubic feet (mcf) from the Company's average realized price in the third quarter of 2008. The average Henry Hub (HH) prompt natural gas price for the fourth quarter decreased $2.75 per million British Thermal Units (BTUs), while the average HH bid week natural gas price decreased $3.30 per million BTUs during this same period. International average gas realizations decreased $0.05 per mcf in the first two months of the fourth quarter compared to the third quarter of 2008.

Marathon's actual crude oil and natural gas price realizations vary from market indicators primarily due to product quality and location differentials.

Fourth quarter 2008 exploration expense is now expected to be between $125 to $175 million, which is within previous guidance.

Oil Sands Mining

For the fourth quarter 2008, the Company estimates that its net share of bitumen production before royalties from the Athabasca Oil Sands Project (AOSP) mining operation will be approximately 25,000 barrels per day (bpd), which is within the previous guidance of 23,000 to 28,000 bpd for the fourth quarter. Marathon's synthetic crude oil sales from AOSP for fourth quarter 2008 are estimated to be approximately 32,000 bpd. Marathon's average synthetic crude oil realization (excluding derivative impacts) for the first two months of the fourth quarter, as compared to third quarter 2008, decreased $54.43 per barrel, reflecting the general market price movements during the first two months of the fourth quarter.

For the fourth quarter 2008, the Company expects a net after-tax gain of approximately $134 million on crude oil derivative instruments intended to mitigate price risk related to sales of synthetic crude oil, of which approximately $6 million is realized and approximately $128 million is unrealized mark-to-market. The last of these derivative instruments expire at year end 2009.

Refining, Marketing and Transportation

The Company estimates its refined products sales volume will average approximately 1,400,000 bpd in the fourth quarter of 2008 compared to 1,432,000 bpd in the fourth quarter of 2007.

The Company estimates its fourth quarter 2008 refining and wholesale marketing gross margin will be approximately $0.12 per gallon as compared to $0.048 per gallon earned in the fourth quarter 2007, with the falling crude oil prices during the fourth quarter 2008, compared to rising prices in the fourth quarter 2007, being the primary reason for this projected increase. Additionally, the gross margin includes an estimated gain on derivative instruments of approximately $64 million in the fourth quarter of 2008 compared to a loss of $427 million in the fourth quarter of 2007. This change was primarily due to the change in crude oil prices during the fourth quarter 2008 compared to the fourth quarter 2007 noted above, as well as the fact that the Company no longer uses derivatives to mitigate its domestic crude oil acquisition price risk. These favorable variances were partially offset by an unfavorable year-over-year quarterly impact from a narrowing in the average sweet/sour differential on the Company's cost of sour crude oil purchases. In addition, Marathon's ethanol blending margins are projected to be less favorable in the fourth quarter 2008 versus fourth quarter 2007 primarily due to a narrowing in the differential between gasoline and ethanol prices.

Crude oil refined is expected to average approximately 950,000 bpd for the entire fourth quarter 2008, compared to 956,000 bpd in the fourth quarter of 2007. Total refinery throughputs for the fourth quarter 2008 are expected to be about 1,175,000 bpd compared to 1,179,000 bpd in the fourth quarter of 2007.

Speedway SuperAmerica LLC's (SSA) gasoline and distillate gross margin averaged $0.2044 per gallon during October and November 2008 and is expected to average approximately $0.18 per gallon for the fourth quarter of 2008. SSA same store gasoline sales volume for the first two months of the fourth quarter 2008 decreased slightly compared to the first two months of the fourth quarter 2007; however, the Company projects that SSA's same store gasoline sales volume for the entire quarter will be slightly better than the same quarter last year.

Integrated Gas

Marathon's liquefied natural gas (LNG) operations in Equatorial Guinea and Alaska are estimated to have sold approximately 5,750 net metric tonnes per day (mtpd) of LNG in the fourth quarter of 2008, within the previous guidance of 5,500 to 6,100 mtpd.

Other Information

The overall corporate effective income tax rate for full year 2008, excluding special items and foreign currency remeasurement effects, is anticipated to remain between 46 and 49 percent. The actual annual effective tax rate is influenced by several factors including the geographical mix and timing of product sales.

Earnings Release Date and Conference Call Information

Marathon will report its fourth quarter 2008 results on Feb. 3, 2009. The Company will also conduct a conference call and webcast that same day at 2 p.m. EST. The call will cover fourth quarter and full year 2008 financial results and may include forward-looking information. Interested parties can listen to this call and view associated slides by accessing the Marathon Oil Corporation Web site at www.marathon.com and clicking on the Fourth Quarter 2008 Financial Results Conference Call link. Replays of the conference call will be available on the Web site through Feb. 17, 2009. Financial information, including earnings releases and other investor-related material, is also available online.

This release contains forward-looking statements with respect to estimates of the Company's worldwide liquid hydrocarbon and natural gas production, exploration expenses, mined bitumen production, synthetic crude oil sales, oil sands mining derivative gains and losses, refined products sales volume, refining and wholesale marketing gross margin per gallon, crude oil and total refinery throughputs, Speedway SuperAmerica LLC gasoline and distillate gross margins and sales volumes, LNG sales volumes, and the corporate effective income tax rate for 2008. These are preliminary estimates and are therefore subject to change. Actual results may differ materially from the estimates given in this update. In accordance with the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Marathon Oil Corporation has included in its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2007, and subsequent Forms 10-Q and 8-K, cautionary language identifying important factors, though not necessarily all such factors, that could cause future outcomes to differ materially from those set forth in the forward- looking statements.

Select Operating and Financial Data (unaudited)

4Q 3Q Oct - Nov 4Q
2007 2008 2008 2008
Actual Actual Actual Actual
Exploration and Production
Net Sales(1)
Domestic - Liquid Hydrocarbons
(MBPD) 60 63 65 --
Domestic - Natural Gas (MMCFD) 474 426 459 --
International - Liquid
Hydrocarbons (MBPD) 130 161 190 --
International - Natural Gas
(MMCFD)(2) 510 502 621 --
MBOEPD(1) 354 379 435 --

Market Prices
NYMEX prompt WTI oil price
($/BBL) 90.50 118.22 68.01 59.08
Dated Brent oil price ($/BBL) 88.45 115.09 62.86 55.48
HH prompt natural gas price
($/MMBTU) 6.92 9.13 6.68 6.38
HH bid week natural gas price
($/MMBTU) 6.97 10.25 6.98 6.95

Average Realizations(3)
Liquid Hydrocarbons:
Domestic ($/BBL) 74.16 106.81 55.70 --
International ($/BBL) 84.64 113.10 63.30 --
Natural Gas:
Domestic ($/MCF) 5.70 7.70 4.59 --
International ($/MCF) 3.96 2.92 2.87 --

Oil Sands Mining
Net bitumen production (MBPD)(4) 15 28 24 --
Net synthetic crude sales (MBPD)(4) 17 32 32 --
Synthetic crude average
realization ($/BBL)(3) 71.07 113.42 58.99 --

Refining, Marketing and
Chicago LLS 6-3-2-1 crack spread
($/BBL) 2.88 7.81 3.52 2.31
Gulf Coast LLS 6-3-2-1 crack
spread ($/BBL) 1.42 6.32 0.06 (0.01)
Chicago LLS 3-2-1 crack spread
($/BBL) 7.54 13.75 7.37 5.30
Gulf Coast LLS 3-2-1 crack spread
($/BBL) 5.81 11.88 3.05 2.45

Sweet/sour differential ($/BBL)(5) 14.23 11.38 9.59 9.90
Refinery Runs:
Crude oil refined (MBPD) 956 955 954 --
Other charge & blend stocks
(MBPD) 223 189 223 --
Total (MBPD) 1,179 1,144 1,177 --
Crude oil capacity utilization
(%)(6) 98 94 94 --
Refined product sales volumes
(MBPD)(7) 1,432 1,357 1,432 --
Refining & wholesale marketing
gross margin ($/gal)(8) 0.0480 0.2519 0.1809 --
SSA gasoline and distillate sales
(MMGal) 836 796 558 --
SSA gasoline and distillate gross
margin ($/gal) 0.1131 0.1690 0.2044 --
SSA merchandise gross margin
($million) 172 197 121 --

Integrated Gas
Sales Volumes (MTPD)(9)
LNG 3,890 6,048 7,126 --
Methanol 1,376 757 790 --

BBL - barrel MBPD - thousand barrels MMCFD - million cubic
per day feet per day
MMBTU - million British MMBPD - million barrels MTPD - metric tonnes
Thermal Units per day per day
MCF - thousand cubic gal - gallons MMGal - million
feet gallons
MBOEPD - thousand barrels
of oil equivalent per

(1) Amounts reflected are after royalties, except for Ireland and Canada where amounts are before royalties.

(2) Includes natural gas acquired for injection and subsequent resale.

(3) Excludes gains and losses on traditional derivative instruments and the unrealized effects of long-term U.K. natural gas contracts that are accounted for as derivatives.

(4) The oil sands mining operations were acquired October 18, 2007.

(5) 15% Arab Light, 20% Kuwait, 10% Maya, 15% Western Canadian Select, 40% Mars.

(6) Prior to January 1, 2008, crude oil capacity utilization was based on historical crude oil refining capacity of 974 MBPD. As of December 31, 2007, crude oil refining capacity was revised to 1.016 MMBPD.

(7) Total average daily volumes of all refined product sales to wholesale, branded and retail (SSA) customers.

(8) Sales revenue less cost of refinery inputs, purchased products and manufacturing expenses, including depreciation.

(9) LNG sales volumes include both consolidated sales and our share of the sales of an equity method investee.

Media Relations Contacts:
Lee Warren 713-296-4103
Leslie Hiltabrand 713-296-4102

Investor Relations Contacts:
Howard Thill 713-296-4140
Michol Ecklund 713-296-3919
Chris Phillips 713-296-3213

SOURCE Marathon Oil Corporation