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Increased Production and Dropping Demand Continue to Pressure Oil Prices

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Dec 14, 2012) - Oil & Gas stocks have struggled in 2012 as high production rates and low demand have kept a lid on oil prices. The SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (XOP) has gained just 3 percent year-to-date. The Paragon Report examines investing opportunities in the Oil & Gas Industry and provides equity research on Hyperdynamics Corp. ( NYSE : HDY ) and Pengrowth Energy Corp. ( NYSE : PGH ) ( TSX : PGF ).

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The American Petroleum Institute last month reported U.S. oil demand in October fell to 18.4 million barrels a day, which was the lowest October demand seen in 17 years. During the first 10 months of the year was 2.1 percent below the comparable period in 2011. Crude production in October averaged 6.652 million barrels a day, the highest in October since 1994.

"For many months, we've seen variations on the same theme: weak demand versus a year ago and some of the weaker demand numbers over the past decade," said John Felmy, API chief economist. "The simple fact is that unemployment remains high and economic growth has been extremely modest. Petroleum demand is reflecting that."

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Hyperdynamics is the operator and holds 77 percent of one of the largest exploration and production licenses in West Africa in the Republic of Guinea covering approximately 25,000 square kilometers. The company last month announced an agreement to sell a 40% gross interest in Hyperdynamics' oil and gas exploration concession offshore Guinea.

Pengrowth's assets include Swan Hills light oil, Cardium light oil and the Lindbergh thermal bitumen project. The company currently offers investors an annual dividend of $0.48 per share for a dividend yield of approximately 9.75 percent. Shares of Pengrowth have fallen over 50 percent year-to-date.

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