NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 01/09/12 -- The oil and gas sector is set to play a big political role this election year as President Obama must decide whether or not to approve the controversial Keystone Pipeline which would send tar sands crude from Alberta to Texas. Originally, the Obama administration announced that it would delay a final decision in order to complete additional environmental studies. However Republicans in Congress are seeking to force Obama's hand as the pipeline has become a cause for Republican presidential candidates. The Paragon Report examines the outlook for companies in the Oil and Gas sector and provides equity research on Chevron Corporation (NYSE: CVX) and Royal Dutch Shell PLC (NYSE: RDS-A) (NYSE: RDS-B) (LSE: RDSA) (LSE: RDSB). Access to the full company reports can be found at:
Last week at his annual "State of American Energy" speech, American Petroleum Institute head Jack Gerard proclaimed that President Obama faces "huge political consequences" if he does not approve the proposed 1,700-mile Keystone XI pipeline that would link Alberta's oil stands to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast. The Obama administration must decide by February 21 to accept or deny a permit for the project.
The American Petroleum Institute believes that the potential for the project to create jobs, both in construction and in refineries and chemical plants that would use the oil brought from Canada, means that a decision by the Obama administration to deny a permit would be politically damaging.
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With tensions on the rise in the Middle East and difficulties in South America, Canada has become an even more important oil hotspot for producers. Earlier this month, an Ecuadoran appeals court has upheld last year's landmark $9.5 billion judgment against Chevron Corp. over oil field contamination in the Amazon rain forest.
According to a recent report from The San Francisco Chronicle, Chevron can still appeal to Ecuador's National Court of Justice to overturn the verdict, which the company insists was the result of fraud. Chevron has accused the lawyers suing the company of fabricating reports and colluding with several judges in the case.
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