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Noble Energy (NYSE:NBL) announced the sale of its Gulf of Mexico shelf assets, excluding the Main Pass area, to Coldren Resources. The sale includees 162 Bcfe of proved reserves for $625 million which equates to $3.86/Mcfe - in-line with recent transactions in the GOM.

NBL also announced that their board of directors has authorized the purchase of up to $500 million of the company's common stock. This divestiture is a positive as it reduces the company's exposure to the high decline rates on the Gulf of Mexico shelf and allows the company to focus capital on other low risk prospects onshore and high impact exploration opportunities internationally and in the deep water Gulf of Mexico. Analysts will provide a more detailed company update following NBL's management presentation on May 18, 2006 in New York.

AG Edwards upgraded Murphy Oil (NYSE:MUR) to Buy. They believe that 2007 should mark an inflection point with average annual growth estimated at 10% through 2010.

AG Edwards upgraded Hugoton Royalty Trust (NYSE:HGT) to Buy. They view the significant pullback in the stock as an opportunity to buy.

Britain's Telegraph newspaper reports that a new generation of nuclear power stations will have to be built in Britain to meet energy needs and avoid dependence on foreign imports, Tony Blair told business leaders last night.

Source: Rob Black's Energy Market Roundup (HGT, MUR, NBL)