ConocoPhillips to sell some properties in
N. Dakota, Montana
HOUSTON — ConocoPhillips is selling some properties in North Dakota and Montana to a subsidiary of Denbury Resources Inc. for $1.05 billion. The oil and natural gas company said Tuesday that the Cedar Creek Anticline properties span about 86,000 net acres in southwestern North Dakota and eastern Montana. Net production from the properties averaged 13,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day through November. The sale doesn't include any of ConocoPhillips' Bakken Formation assets. The company owns 626,000 net acres there.
Wholesale prices fall
For third straight month
WASHINGTON — U.S. wholesale prices fell for the third month in a row last month, pushed down by falling food and gas costs. The drop is the latest evidence inflation is tame. The producer price index dropped 0.2 percent in December, the Labor Department said Tuesday. That follows a decline of 0.8 percent in November. The index measures price changes before they reach the consumer. Wholesale prices rose 1.3 percent in 2012, much lower than the 4.7 percent increase in 2011.
Business inventories grew in November
WASHINGTON — U.S. companies increased their stockpiles at a steady pace in November from October, responding to a solid increase in sales. The Commerce Department said Tuesday that business inventories grew 0.3 percent in November, matching the October gain. Sales rose 1 percent in November, the best showing since a 1.2 percent rise in September. In October, sales fell 0.3 percent, reflecting in part disruptions caused by Superstorm Sandy.
Bank watchdog group's efforts are criticized
WASHINGTON — Bankers and financial industry leaders are criticizing the early efforts of the government's new consumer finance watchdog, saying a slow and inefficient oversight process has slowed lending and made it more difficult for them to do business. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's team that examines banks is understaffed, inexperienced and takes months to tell banks how they scored on routine audits, Consumer Bankers Association CEO Richard Hunt said Tuesday. For some bank examiners, it is their first job out of college, he said. Hunt said that CFPB Director Richard Cordray is aware of the problems with the examination program and hopes to do better in the agency's second year.
Pratt & Whitney
to cut 350 workers
EAST HARTFORD, Conn. — Jet engine maker Pratt & Whitney says it's cutting 350 salaried workers, about 200 of those jobs are in Connecticut. The subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. said Tuesday that it's responding to “business and economic conditions.” The company, based in East Hartford, Conn., said the cuts are necessary to remain competitive. Pratt & Whitney announced in December it will lay off 80 hourly employees and eliminate 20 other jobs through buyouts. The company employs about 36,000 workers worldwide. Company President David Hess said in May that sales are expected to double, to $24 billion, by the end of the decade. But he said Pratt & Whitney must navigate a few transitional years of high fuel costs and a weak economic recovery that are pressuring airline customers.
to close some operations
JOHANNESBURG — The world's largest platinum producer said Tuesday that it will close some operations, sell one mine in South Africa and cut 14,000 jobs, just months after mining strikes turned violent, killing dozens of people. Anglo American Platinum said a nearly yearlong review found that four mine shafts needed to be closed and one mine sold because of unprofitable operations. The government's minister of mines and the National Union of Mineworkers, NUM, expressed surprise and shock at the announcement. The news of the mine closures and the prospect of more strikes sent platinum prices higher. Platinum for April delivery rose $31.70 to settle at $1,689.90 an ounce, the highest price since October. That jump put platinum prices above gold prices for the first time since September 2011, according to the CPM Group. Gold for February delivery rose $14.50 to $1,683.90 an ounce.
From Wire Reports