Falklands Oil (LSE: FOGL) gets a rig, and Drax (LSE: DRAX) converts to biomass.
The FTSE 100 (UKX) barely moved this morning, hovering around 5,689 points for just a four-point rise. In part it's been held back by a fall in BP (LSE: BP) shares, as the oil and gas giant dropped 4% to 426p after revealing a $5bn charge along with its second-quarter earnings.
In fact, the energy business was big in the news in general today, with a number of companies in the sector featuring among the movers of the various FTSE indices...
Falklands Oil and Gas (LSE: FOGL) gained 2.35p in early trading, for a 3.4% rise to 71.85p, after announcing it has taken over the use of the Leiv Eiriksson drilling rig from Borders & Southern (LSE: BOR), a fellow explorer in the Falklands area that has completed its 2012 drilling programme.
Now under contract to Falklands Oil and Gas and its partner Edison International Spa, the Leiv Eiriksson rig will be moved to the Loligo well area where it will be used for two exploratory wells. The firm could do with a drilling success, as its shares have traced a volatile route to nowhere over the past 12 months, booming and busting their way to just a few percent up overall.
Power station operator Drax Group (LSE: DRX) enjoyed a smaller gain, of 5.7p (12%) to 476p, despite announcing a 17% fall in first-half profits and slashing its interim dividend by 10% to 16p per share, as it moves away from some of Europe's most polluting coal as a source of energy.
But that bad news was already known, and the shares have already slid from a July peak of 573p. Today's boost came from the confirmation that the firm is on track to convert to the use of biomass, as the UK government offers subsidies for renewable energy. Three of the company's six plants are now expected to be converted to biomass within five years.
Interim results from Elementis (LSE: ELM) gave the shares a 9.3p (4.7%) boost this morning to 208p, as the speciality chemicals producer reported a 12% increase in pre-tax profit to $79m, and turned a previous net debt position into net cash of $29.9m. The interim dividend has been lifted by 5% to 2.45 cents per share, which is well covered by earnings.
This adds to an already impressive recovery for Elementis, whose shares have piled up from a June 2009 low of just 24p. In fact, in 2012 alone they've risen from 137p, for a gain of over 50%.
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> Alan does not own any shares mentioned in this article.