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Below is a condensed sample of our FREE electronic industry news summary distributed to over 8,700 "Friends in the Oil Patch".

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LATEST INDUSTRY STATISTICS

USA Rig Count
(Baker Hughes) The US Rig Count for last week was 1728 up 4 from the prior week, and up 246 from a year ago.
(Baker Hughes) The Rocky Mountain Rig Count for last week is 297, prior week total was 299, and up 50 from a year ago.

Weekly Mobile Offshore Rig Count
(ODS-Petrodata) The worldwide contracted offshore rig count is unchanged this week, with rig demand keeping utilization rates as high as 100 percent, according to ODS-Petrodata's weekly mobile offshore rig count. In the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, 119 rigs remain under contract out of 145 mobile offshore drilling units available, keeping the fleet's utilization rate at 82.1 percent. In Europe, 95 rigs out of 97 available are under contract, and European offshore fleet utilization stands at...

Offshore Utilization Rate
(ODS-Petrodata) The offshore rig utilization rate in the Gulf last week was 82.1%, prior week was 82.1%, year ago was 79.1%.

**Other topics in this section of "From The Oil Patch" include
- Drilling Permits
- Natural Gas
- Crude Oil
- Gasoline Pricing
- GlobalSantaFe SCORE
- Steel Output - USA
- Scrap Iron Consumer Buying Price

NEWS OF INTEREST FROM THE OIL PATCH

Energen Resources and Chesapeake Energy Announce Partnership to Explore and Develop Natural Gas from Alabama Shales
(BUSINESS WIRE) Energen Resources Corporation, the oil and gas subsidiary of Energen Corporation, and Chesapeake Energy Corporation today jointly announced that Energen Resources has sold a 50 percent interest in its lease position in various shale plays in Alabama to Chesapeake for cash and a carried drilling interest. In addition, the two companies have signed an agreement to form an area of mutual interest (AMI) to focus on the further exploration and development of...

ShawCor announces daylight savings hours
(PR) Paul Branch, General Manager, Sales - US Onshore made the following announcement, "On October 29, 2006 daylight savings time will take effect. Accordingly, ShawCor Pipe Protection will be changing the time for unloading and loading of trucks as follows: Pearland, Texas facility, 7:00am until 2:30pm, Monday through Friday. Vineyard, Utah facility, 7:30am until 2:00pm, Monday through Friday. Also take into consideration the winter weather in Vineyard, Utah as this may impact the unloading and loading hours".

**Other recent articles found in this section of "From The Oil Patch" include...
- Does Diversity Devalue Devon Energy
- Delta to increase drilling budget
- OPEC suggests cutbacks
- Energy Transfer Partners Plans
- No rush to cut back as natural gas falls
- 7-Eleven drops Venezuela's Citgo as gas partner

STEEL

Flat rolled price war
(PR) The days of formal flat rolled steel pricing on the West Coast appear to be over for the time being as continuing pressure on carbon sheet products has thrown the market into hear to head bargaining for the fourth quarter. The two major producers in the region, USS-Posco and CSI, have pretty much discontinued their general price announcements on a monthly basis, which in any case is more normally a symptom of a rising market than the sort of downturn that's occurring today. Everybody is heavy on stock, and nobody wants to get caught with expensive steel. There are industry reports that CSI, the region's only hot rolled producer, has cut back on turns in response to a drop in market demand.

Poor delivery points to shortages
(PR) The Steel Manufacturers Association alleges there are currently no shortages of steel products in the American steel market. It that is the case, why are delivery performances from the few remaining steel mills so dismal (50 to 60% on time for the past three to six months), why are steel centers on allocation with all of the major suppliers and why do the majors (Mittal, U.S. Steel) continue to take equipment down, rather than get delivery performance in line with their customers' needs? It is simply a matter of maximizing selling price and therefore, profits. It does seem that more time and effort is being expended toward short term profits than to building strong core infrastructure industries.

**Other recent articles fround in this section of "From The Oil Patch" include...
- US Steel production slumps to 10 month low
- Auto cuts, outages bite scrap prices
- Battle for balance idles 2 furnaces
- Salzgitter mill sold out until 2008
- U.S. hot rolled price decrease slowing
- Rollback of steel tariffs will sink prices, industry warns
- Northwest Pipe planning share offering
- Annual iron ore prices to rise
- Steel demand growth rate to slow
- Mills reduce production

NATURAL GAS

Overview:
Natural gas spot prices increased sharply this week (Wednesday-Wednesday, October 4-11) as colder temperatures crept into the Midwest. For the week, the price at the Henry Hub increased $1.28 per MMBtu, or about 29 percent, to $5.65. At the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX), the price of the futures contract for November delivery at the Henry Hub moved higher by about 16 cents per MMBtu to settle yesterday (Wednesday, October 11) at $6.150. Natural gas in storage was 3,389 Bcf as of Friday, October 6, which...

**Other recent topics and recent articles in this section of "From The Oil Patch" include...
- Prices
- Storage
- Other Market Trends
- Recent Trends in LNG Imports to the United States
- NOAA Releases Winter Weather Outlook
- Natural Gas Transportation Update

CRUDE OIL

Summary of Weekly Petroleum Data:
U.S. crude oil refinery inputs averaged 14.8 million barrels per day during the week ending October 13, down 483,000 barrels per day from the previous week's average. Refineries operated at 86.3 percent of their operable capacity last week. However, gasoline production rose slightly last week compared to the previous week, averaging 8.9 million barrels per day, while distillate fuel production declined, averaging nearly 3.9 million barrels per day. U.S. crude oil imports averaged over 10.4 million barrels per day last week, up 66,000 from the previous week. Over the last four weeks...

CURRENT ECONOMIC STATISTICS

Unemployment (DOL)
Rate for August 2006 was 4.6, prior month was 4.7%, year ago rate was 5.1%, five years ago was 5.0%.

Federal Funds Overnight Lending Rated (FedR)
Currently is 5.25% as of 06-26-06 (Prime Borrowing Rate equals Fed Overnight plus 3.0%)
5.00% as of 05-10-06
4.75% as of 03-28-06
4.50% as of 01-31-06

Gross Domestic Product (DOC)
2nd Qtr 2005 was up 3.3%
3rd Qtr 2005 was up 4.1%
4th Qtr 2005 was up 1.7%
1st Qtr 2006 was up 5.6%
2nd Qtr 2006 was up 2.6%

 
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ECONOMIC NEWS SUMMARY

Manufacturers see slowest growth since mid-2003
(MarketWatch) U.S. manufacturers are expecting slower growth in the months ahead, as pullbacks in the housing and auto sectors weigh on new orders, shipments and investment plans, the Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI said Thursday. In its quarterly survey, the trade group reported that its composite index of future business activity fell 7 points from the June survey to 64 -- the lowest reading since June 2003, but still topping the boom-bust mark of 50. "You have two big-ticket items that are a big piece of manufacturing: housing and automobiles," said Daniel Meckstroth, chief economist for the Manufacturers Alliance....
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