Marathon Oil Corp., Houston, (NYSE: MRO) is the high bidder on 27 Gulf of Mexico blocks offered by the U.S. Minerals Management Service in Lease Sale 205 for $221.7 million net. Marathon bid 13 blocks as 100% buyer and 14 blocks with partners. The blocks cover approximately 153,000 gross acres in the deepwater Gulf, in 1,450 to 8,350 feet of water. Marathon senior vice president of worldwide exploration Phil Behrman says, "These new leases will complement our current portfolio of prospects and further strengthen Marathon's exploration commitment in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico."

W&T Offshore Inc., Houston, (NYSE: WTI) is the high bidder on three blocks on the Gulf of Mexico shelf in the Central Lease Sale 205 for approximately $1.07 million. The assets include 100% working interest in West Cameron 554, Main Pass 159 and Main Pass 164.

Petsec Energy Ltd., Sydney, Australia, (Australia: PSA) is the high bidder on eight blocks in the Gulf of Mexico in the Central Lease Sale 205 for approximately US$1.45 million. The assets include 35% to 54% working interest in 39,239 acres in the Eugene Island, Green Canyon, Main Pass, Mobile, Vermilion and Viosca Knoll areas. Petsec will be operator on four blocks.

ATP Oil & Gas Corp., Houston, (Nasdaq: ATPG) is the high bidder in two blocks in the Gulf of Mexico in the Central Lease Sale 205. The assets include 100% working interest in the De Soto Canyon 355 and Viosca Knoll 863 deepwater blocks. Block 355 is close to ATP's operated Canyon Express pipeline system. Block 863 has logged hydrocarbons in two wells. ATP will be operator of both blocks.

Stone Energy Corp., Lafayette, La., (NYSE: SGY) is the high bidder on 16 blocks in the Gulf of Mexico in the Central Lease Sale 205 for approximately $12.9 million. Stone bid 100% working interest on 10 blocks, 33% on five blocks (in a joint bid with Anadarko E&P), and 50% on one block (joint bid with Samson Offshore). The leases will add approximately 85,239 gross acres (63,728 net) to Stone's holdings in the Garden Banks, Lloyd Ridge, Mississippi Canyon, South Pass, Ship Shoal, Vermilion and Viosca Knoll areas.

Noble Energy Inc., Houston, (NYSE: NBL) is the high bidder on nine deepwater blocks in the Gulf of Mexico in the Central Lease Sale 205 for approximately $53.5 million. Noble Energy joined with Samson Offshore Co. on three blocks and bid alone on the remaining six. Noble also has the option to acquire an interest in two third-party high-bid blocks. The assets include 50% to 100% working interest on more 48,428 acres in the Mississippi Canyon, Atwater Valley, Green Canyon, Walker Ridge and Garden Banks areas. Noble will be operator of all nine blocks.

Nexen Inc., Calgary, (NYSE, Toronto: NXY) is the high bidder on 30 blocks in the Gulf of Mexico in the Central Lease Sale 205 for approximately US$113 million. Nexen currently holds approximately 230 blocks.

Energy Partners Ltd., New Orleans, (NYSE: EPL) is the high bidder on eight blocks in the Gulf of Mexico in the Central Lease Sale 205 for approximately $19.2 million. The blocks cover 40,760 gross acres, with seven on the shelf and one in deep water.

Mariner Energy Inc., Houston, (NYSE: ME) is the high bidder for 23 blocks in the Gulf of Mexico in the Central Lease Sale 205 for approximately $66.2 million. The assets include 50% to 100% working interest on blocks in the conventional shelf, deep shelf, subsalt and deepwater trends.

San Francisco-based GeoPetro Resources Co. has filed an S-1 to IPO up to 2.8 million shares at possibly $3.99 each for a total raise of up to $11.1 million on the American Stock Exchange as GPR.

The shares are being sold by existing shareholders. GeoPetro could receive up to $3.6 million if warrants are fully exercised. If the warrants are tendered, the company will use its proceeds to fund working capital.

Stuart Doshi is president and chief executive. He was managing director of Sierra Overseas Corp., a San Francisco-based securities broker. J. Chris Steinhauser is chief financial officer and principal accounting officer. He was CFO of Beta Oil & Gas Inc., which was sold in 2004 to Petrohawk Energy Corp., Houston (NYSE: HR).

GeoPetro's assets include eight gross wells (two producing) on 1.03 million gross (236,170 net) acres in the U.S., Canada and Indonesia. The U.S. assets are in East Texas, the Cook Inlet area of Alaska and the San Joaquin Basin in California; the Canadian assets are in Alberta; and the Indonesian assets are in East Kalimantan province.

Production as of June 30 was 5.3 million cubic feet of gas per day and proved reserves as of Dec. 31 were 24.6 billion cubic feet (12.2 billion proved developed).

Pennant Energy Inc., Vancouver, (Toronto: PEN) and joint-venture partner Austin Developments Corp., Vancouver, (Toronto: AUL) have acquired acreage in Alberta for an undisclosed price at the Alberta Crown land sale. The property is 640 contiguous acres on section 7-58-16W5 near Pennant's and Austin's Bronson properties.

Pemberton Energy Ltd., Calgary, (Toronto Venture: PBT) has acquired mineral rights in the Peace River Arch area of Alberta at the October Crown land sale for an undisclosed price. This acquisition increases Pemberton's land lease-holdings on this section 21%, bringing the total lease-holding to 82.7%. Pemberton retains 100% working interest in 21% of the section, to add to its 75% working interest in 61.7%.

Arena Resources Inc., Tulsa, Okla., (NYSE: ARD) plans a 2-for-1 stock split on Oct. 15. Apco Argentina Inc., Tulsa, Okla., (Nasdaq: APAGF) plans a 4-for-1 stock split. Strata Oil and Gas Inc., Calgary, (OTCBB: SOIGF) reports a 2-for-1 stock split.

Global Business Services Inc., Beverly Hills, Calif., (Pink Sheets: GBNS) reports a 40-to-1 reverse stock split and a name change to Energetics Holdings Inc. The company also plans to change its stock ticker. North-West Oil Group Inc., Moscow, (Pink Sheets: NWOG) reports a 1-for-100 reverse stock split and will now trade on the Pink Sheets as NWOL. Denbury Resources Inc., Dallas, (NYSE: DNR) plans a 2-for-1 stock split Dec. 5.

Madison, N.J.-based Macro Securities Depositor LLC reports a 3-for-1 stock split of MacroShares Oil Up Tradeable Trust, (Amex: UCR) MacroShares Oil Up Holding Trust, MacroShares Oil Down Tradeable Trusts (Amex: DCR) and MacroShares Oil Down Holding Trusts.

Regions Oil and Gas Inc., Dallas, (Pink Sheets: RGNO) plans to become a fully reporting company and trade on a more senior exchange. Key Energy Services Inc., Houston, (Pink Sheets: KEGS) now trades on the New York Stock Exchange as KEGS. Holloman Energy Corp., Calgary, (OTCBB: ENEC) now trades on the OTC Bulletin Board as HENC. Paco Oil and Gas Inc., Sherman, Texas, now trades on the Pink Sheets as POGC. South Texas Oil Co., Austin, Texas, (OTCBB: STXX) plans to trade on Nasdaq as STXX. Global Resource Corp., West Berlin, N.J., (Pink Sheets: GBRC) now trades on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange as AH62.

DGT Corp., Las Vegas, has changed its named to Blackrock Petroleum Corp. The company now trades on the OTC Bulletin Board as BRPC. The company also reports a 15-for-1 stock split.

American Resource Management Inc., Tulsa, Okla., (Pink Sheets: ARRM) has changed its name to EffTec International Inc. to complement the business of its subsidiary, Efficiency Technologies Inc. The company now trades on the Pink Sheets as EFFI.

Petrol Industries Inc., Oil City, La., (Pink Sheets: PTLD) has changed its name to Caddo International Inc. in line with its recent acquisition of Angel Con-struction and the development plans of the company including licensing of new technology.

Endeavor Energy Corp., Calgary, (OTCBB: ENEC) has changed its name to Holloman Energy Corp. in anticipation of completing the acquisition of privately held, Australia-based Holloman Petroleum Pty. Ltd. from Houston-based parent Holloman Corp. The company also plans to change its trading symbol to reflect its new name.

BPZ Energy Inc., Houston, (Amex: BZP) has changed its name to BPZ Resources Inc.

Privately held, Calgary-based Mooncor Energy Inc. has changed its name to Mooncor Oil and Gas Corp.

Range Resources Corp., Fort Worth, Texas, (NYSE: RRC) reports subsidiary Great Lakes Energy Partners LLC has changed its name to Range Resources-Appalachia LLC, and subsidiary Pine Mountain Oil and Gas Inc. has changed its name to Range Resources-Pine Mountain Inc.

Range Resources-Appalachia controls approximately 2.5 million net leasehold acres in the Appalachian Basin and operates more than 11,000 wells in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia and New York. Range Resources-Pine Mountain controls more than 300,000 net acres and owns interests in more than 1,500 wells in Virginia and West Virginia.

Range chief executive John Pinkerton says, "The majority of our wells were being drilled in the Appalachian Basin under the auspices of various operating entities. Bringing all the entities together under the Range name is intended to eliminate confusion and simplify our business."

Heartland Oil and Gas Corp. (OTCBB: HTOG) has moved its headquarters from Denver to Houston, which will consolidate the E&P operations of Universal Property Development and Acquisition Corp. (OTCBB: UPDA) into a single location.

BPI Energy Holdings Inc., Cleveland, (Amex: BPG) reports that it is not in compliance with listing requirements for the American Stock Exchange. The company has only two members on its audit committee following the resignation of one member, and listing rules require at least three. Amex has granted BPI until Jan. 3 to come into compliance.

CanArgo Energy Corp., Guernsey, U.K., (Oslo, Amex: CNR) reports it is not in compliance with American Stock Exchange listing requirements. The board currently has two independent members while Amex requires at least three. The company has until Dec. 27 to regain compliance.

Loon Energy Inc., Calgary, (CDNX: LEY) has entered a contract for the oil exploration, development and production in Block 9 in northwestern Syria with the government of Syria and the Syrian Petroleum Co. Loon has posted a US$7.5-million bank guarantee as part of the signing.

Loon has a 100% interest and is operator of Block 9, which encompasses more than 10,000 square kilometers at the northern edge of the Homs Basin, which contains the large Palmyra, Cherrife Da and Ash Shaer fields. The area is approximately 43 square kilometers smaller than originally awarded as a two-kilometer strip along the coast, together with the city limits of Latakia, has been excluded from the original contract.

The block contains only two exploration wells, one drilled in 1977 and the other in 1995. Loon has a first-phase exploration period of four years during which it has committed to acquire 600 kilometers of 2-D seismic and drill two exploration wells. The exploration period can be extended for up to nine years in phases by performing additional work on an agreed basis.

Ansco Inc. has the right to acquire a 5% working interest in the block on a heads-up basis.

Iraqi oil minister Hussain al-Shahristani said all oil and gas deals signed after February between foreign firms and the Kurdish regional government are illegal and the crude cannot legally be exported, Reuters reports.

The Kurdish government signed a production-sharing contract with a unit of Dallas-based, privately owned Hunt Oil Co. and with Impulse Energy Corp. in early September. It also signed a service contract with Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.-based Dana Gas (Abu Dhabi: DNA) in April.

Zion Oil & Gas Inc., Caesara, Israel, (Amex: ZN) has been granted the Joseph exploration license in Israel from the Israeli petroleum commission.

The license would be granted after the Sukkot holidays in Israel, during the second week of October. Zion submitted its application for the license on June 26 following the closing of the company's Ma'anit-Joseph license at the end of its term.

The three-year Joseph license covers approximately 85,000 acres onshore between Caesarea and Netanya, immediately south of Zion's 78,000-acre Asher-Menashe license. The acreage comprises approximately 85% of the land previously held by Zion under the Ma'anit-Joseph license and includes both the Ma'anit structure and the Joseph prospect south of Ma'anit. The Ma'anit assets feature the Ma'anit #1 well and the company plans to drill the Ma'anit-Rehoboth #2 well.

Avenue Energy Israel Ltd., a subsidiary of Avenue Group Inc., New York, (OTCBB: AVNU) has been granted the Heletz-Kokhav Field license in southern Israel from the Israeli petroleum commission.

The license is near Ashkelon and is comprised of three oil fields-Heletz, Brur and Kochav-involving approximately 60,000 acres. The assets feature 53 idle wells, which Avenue Israel plans to workover.

Production in Heletz Field has been approximately 70 barrels per day from six wells. Proved reserves are approximately 1.9 million barrels of oil. Recovery estimates do not include secondary and tertiary recovery methods that may have the potential to significantly raise production.

Avenue Israel's plans to drill a new well. If substantial, the company may request a 30-year production lease.

Inform Worldwide Holdings Inc., Las Vegas, (OTCBB: IWWI) has formed a subsidiary, Round Boy Oil & Gas Inc., to hold all licenses, permits, bonds and leases in the company's oil and gas projects. Round Boy will also operate as the joint-venture partner in any oil and gas projects requiring such a relationship.

Inform will transfer to Round Boy the Beckham coalbed-methane lease in Greene County, Pennsylvania, that contains three coal seams. The area also features a pipeline and another slated to be constructed. Round will also hold the Mancabelli coalbed-methane lease encompassing 31.64 acres in Conemaugh Township, Indiana County, Pennsylvania.

Portuguese oil company Galp Energia (London: GALP) is discussing E&P projects with Venezuelan state-owned oil company Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), according to Reuters. The partnership would be similar to agreements with Brazil's Petrobras, (Bovespa: PETR4) and Angola's state-controlled Sonangol, Reuters adds.

Kazakhstan has passed a law Sept. 26 allowing the government to break contracts with foreign companies, which could lead to problems with an Italian-led group developing Kashagan Field, according to Reuters. Developing the field are Eni, Rome, (NYSE: E) Royal Dutch Shell, ExxonMobil Corp., Irvine, Texas, and ConocoPhillips, Houston.

TransAtlantic Petroleum Corp., Calgary, (Toronto: TNP-U) has acquired three production licenses from Romania.

TransAtlantic owns 100% working interest (3.5% to 13.5% royalty) in the Izvoru, Vanatori and Marsa licenses in the Moesian platform within 100 kilometers west of Bucharest. Each license covers approximately 1,200 acres, and is for up to 30 years so long as production is established in the first three years.

Izvoru Field produced 1.4 million barrels of oil from 26 wells before it was abandoned. The combined Sarmatian and Albian formations contained original resources in place of approximately 22 million barrels of oil. Vanatori Field features five wells and Marsa Field features five wells (three productive).

BP Plc, London, (NYSE: BP) is restructuring its business and will incorporate its gas, power and renewables segment into its refining and marketing segments. The E&P segment will remain as it is, and the other segment will be made up of a series of performance units.

New York-based law firm Bracewell & Giuliani reports the lower house of the Kazakhstan Parliament has voted to give the government the unilateral right to modify or cancel energy contracts.

Kashagan oil field is being developed by ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell and Total SA. Cost on development has run up more than 50%, and delays have pushed the original 2005 target for pumping oil to 2010. Bracewell & Giuliani reports Kazakh officials expressed displeasure concerning Kashagan by temporarily halting operations due to "environmental violations," as a means of emphasizing their displeasure to the consortium. The legislation suggests economic commitments, not environmental violations, are Ka-zakhstan's primary concern in Kashagan, the law firm reports.

The Alberta In Situ Oil Sands Alliance, representing several in-situ oil-sands development companies, report that the Alberta Royalty Review Panel has overlooked important facts.

Alliance members include Athabasca Oil Sands Corp., Laricina Energy Ltd., MEG Energy Corp., and Osum Oil Sands Corp.

The report fails to account for the many ways in which Alberta's smaller, entrepreneurial firms contribute to the economy, the alliance argues, and the panel has overlooked the costly nature of developing and producing from oil sands. Economic terms must be fair to attract financial investment in the projects, the group reports.

Alberta-based corporations and local citizens will face "significant and adverse consequences" if the panel's recommendations are implemented, it adds.

"Multi-billions of new investment dollars will be required in order to cultivate the untapped in-situ resources of Alberta. These untapped resources represent approximately 80% of the estimated recoverable barrels of bitumen in the province with associated future royalties representing multi-billions of dollars for Albertans."

The review panel has grossly underestimated the costs associated with the projects, coming to only two-thirds of the actual amounts currently being invested on oil sands-projects, the alliance adds.

Husky Oil Operations Ltd., a subsidiary of Husky Energy Inc., Calgary, (Toronto: HSE) and Esso Exploration Greenland Ltd. have been awarded a joint interest in an exploration license offshore Greenland by the Greenland and Danish governments.

Husky and Esso each have a 43.75% interest in West Disko Block 6 (2007/27), which covers 13,213 square kilometers and is approximately 30 kilometers offshore the west coast of Disko Island. Esso will be operator. Nunaoil A/S, Greenland's national oil company, holds the remaining 12.5% interest.

In June 2007, Husky was awarded two exploration licenses covering an area of 21,067 square kilometers that border License 2007/27. Husky holds an 87.5% interest in licenses 2007/22 and 2007/24 and will act as operator on these blocks. Nunaoil holds the remaining 12.5% interest in each license.

The Mullen Group Income Fund, Calgary, (Toronto: MTL-UN) reports lay-offs at several of its business units due to a decline in drilling in Western Canada.

Mullen chairman and chief executive Murray Mullen says, "The number of drilling rigs working in Alberta continues to decline, which is having a direct impact on several of our oilfield-service business units. Gas drilling activity has been in decline for the past year due to lower gas prices, which is quite typical for a cyclical industry. However, many of our oil and gas customers have made it clear that they intend on reducing their capital investments in Alberta if the recently announced oil and gas royalty proposal, known as 'Our Fair Share,' is implemented."

He adds that the company has already seen a decline in demand for services since the Sept. 18 Alberta Royalty-Review announcement.

The Ecuadorian government has warned foreign oil companies that they have until Oct. 31 to pay a total $317.4 million in additional royalty payments.

Law 42-2006 grants the government at least 50% of the additional gains companies receive by the worldwide increase oil prices.

The companies include Occidental, which operated in Block 15 until May 2006 and owes $31 million, and Andes Petróleum, which operates Tarapoa Block and owes $36.7 million. The government argues the original contract Andes Petróleum was based on crude oil prices of $17.79 per barrel, but the current price in the international market is now $68.28 per barrel.

Northern Sun Exploration Co. Inc., Calgary, (Toronto Venture: NSE) has signed a five-year extension on its land acquisition and management agreement with the Ka'a' gee Tu First Nation in the Northwest Territories in Western Canada. The deal involves several million acres in the Canadian north, where there has been a moratorium on exploration and development.

Chen Tonghai, the former chairman of China Petroleum and Chemical Corp. (Sinopec), Beijing, (Honk Kong: 0386; NYSE: SNP) has been detained for questioning for irregularities, losses and mismanagement, reports Reuters. Chen Tonghai left the company in June, two years before retirement.

Advanced Materials Engineering Inc. has canceled its relationship with Black Dragon Resource Cos. Inc., Oil City, La., (Pink Sheets, BDGR) and any other company controlled or associated with chief executive Joseph A. Lanza due to a failure to agree on terms and conditions of compensation for Advanced Materials CEO Michael M. Ellis, and a lack of payment of consulting fees. Ellis also resigned as interim president of Black Dragon.

Ellis said that he resigned from his position due to a failure to agree on terms and conditions of compensation, and a lack of payment of consulting fees due Advanced Materials Engineering Inc., of which he is chief executive.

Black Dragon states at no time since being named president did Ellis come to Oil City to commence taking over the day-to-day operations of the company. Ellis was paid $50,000 for services to Black Dragon and to this date has not forwarded any or all of the geological and geophysical research work purported to have been done by himself on behalf of the company.

Ellis indicated that interim funding would be forthcoming, and so far no funding has materialized nor has a comprehensive drilling program been developed.

Black Dragon adds that Ellis had insisted board members tender their resignations and allow his associates to take over the board positions. The company states these actions were not disclosed to the board prior to his appointment and were not in the best interest of the company. He was given the opportunity to resign rather than be terminated, and did so through the unauthorized release.