With little fanfare, the Environmental Protection Agency June 20 announced that it would drop an investigation into the connection between natural gas drilling and contaminated water in Wyoming. As reported in the Wall Street Journal, the decision was seen as “a boost for Encana Corp (NTSE: ECA) and other firms tha practice drilling techniques known as hydraulic fracturing.”
While the EPA will allow the state of Wyoming to pursue the investigation, it does not “plan to rely upon the conclusions” of a previous study, the WSJ noted. In late 2011 the EPA issued a draft report linking contaminated water samples to gas wells in Pavillion, WY, that are operated by Encana.
This EPA action should be good news for small cap oil and gas companies, even those not using the hydraulic fracturing technique. We have chosen three randomly, with no knowledge of the actual techniques they employ.
Ontario, Canada-based Epsilon Energy (OTC BB: EPSEF, http://www.epsilonenergyltd.com) is an independent oil and gas company that operates in three segments: Upstream-USA, Midstream-USA and Canada. It focuses on developing natural gas in the Marcellus Shale in northeast Pennsylvania as well as operations in Canada. EPSEF stock has a 52-week trading range of $1.60-$4.45 and closed June 25 at $3.07 down 7 cents for the day. Its market cap is $158 million.
Vancouver-based Dejour Energy (NYSE MKT: DEJ, http://www.dejourenergy.com) produces oil and gas in Canada and the U.S. It has rights to about 130,000 acres in the Peace River Arch in northwestern British Columbia and northeast Alberta and the Piceance, Paradox and Uinta basins in the Rocky Mountains in the U.S. DEJ was formerly knowns as Dejour Enterprises Ltd. and changed its name in March 2011. DEJ’s 52-week trading range is $0.12-$0.26. It closed June 25 at $0.19, no change for the day. Its market cap is $29 million.
Calgary, Canada-based US Oil Sands (OTC BB: UERLF, http://www.usoilsandsinc.com) develops oil sands properties in Uinta basin in northeast Utah. One property consists of 5,930 contiguous acres, the other consists of 26,075 acres of exploration land. Its 52-week trading range is $0.09-$0.16. It closed June 25 at $0.10, no change for the day. Its market cap is $32 million.