Crude oil prices decreased in trading Monday on reports that Gulf of Mexico oil and gas platforms would survive Hurricane Gustav. It remained to be seen whether power outages would affect refinery production.
Oil-services firms are jockeying for position to take advantage of shale-oil development, especially in the Haynesville Shale play in Louisiana and Texas. "It's kind of touted as the next gold rush, yet there are some people who are very concerned -- will it come to pass?" Baker Hughes executive Joe DeGeare said.
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin -- Sen. John McCain's selection for Republican running mate -- brings experience working with the oil industry. Palin has negotiated with some of the industry's biggest companies, pushed for faster expansion of oil and gas production and revived the plan to build a natural gas pipeline to the Lower 48 states.
The Minerals Management Service reported Monday that Hurricane Gustav halted all 1.3 million barrels of daily oil production in the Gulf of Mexico and 7.06 billion cubic feet of daily gas production. Workers on 100 rigs and 626 platforms were evacuated in advance of the storm.