Energy issues are mostly lower pre-market as oil prices fall ahead of the release of the latest weekly U.S. inventories data. The energy exploration arm of China National Petroleum Corp., PetroChina Co. ( PTR ), and Royal Dutch Shell plc (RDSA) have signed an agreement to study energy projects in Canada and China. Specifically, the two companies will jointly evaluate the Daning coal bed methane block in the Ordos basin of Inner Mongolia as well as in Canada. Gastar Exploration Ltd ( GST ) will buy 59,000 acres in the Marcellus shale from an undisclosed seller. In September, Atinum Partners had sold half its interest in the shale to a unit of South Korean investment group Atinum Partners for $70 million. Savanna Energy Services Corp (SVY) returned to the black in the third quarter as its operations in North America recovered. Earnings reached 1.2 million Canadian dollars, or 2 Canadian cents, compared to a loss of 4.5 million Canadian dollars, or 6 Canadian cents. Analysts had expected earnings of 2 Canadian cents a share. Brent crude is down 0.3% at $88.04 a barrel on NYMEX.
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