U.S. Markets closed

PDC Energy Faces Lawsuit for Violating Emission Standards

Zacks Equity Research

Shares of Denver-based upstream player PDC Energy, Inc. PDCE declined over 4% to eventually close at $41.12 on Jun 27. The downslide came after the U.S. Justice Department (DoJ) and state regulators filed charges against the company for violating the Federal Clean Air Act. The DoJ, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other regulators are likely to impose $100,000 penalty charges per day against the company for violating emission standards.

Per the lawsuit filing, PDC Energy is alleged to have polluted the air by leaking volatile chemicals from oil tanks in a Colorado oil field. The emission of these volatile organic compounds can cause severe damage to the environment and endanger public health.

Last year, air quality commissioners had proposed to comply with the 75 parts per billion of ozone standard, set in 2008. Reducing pollution from the oil and gas tanks is essential for Colorado for meeting the emission standards. However since 2012, the company as well as Colorado has failed to meet the national clean air standards.

PDC Energy owns around 600 storage tanks which are certified to meet the emission standards of the nation. However, according to the recent filing, more than 86 oil tank sites in the Denver-Julesburg Basin failed to comply with the clean air standards, leading to excessive emission of volatile organic compounds. The emissions have led to increased ozone along the Colorado Front Range, affecting public health.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

PDC Energy is engaged in acquiring, developing and exploring crude oil, NGLs and natural gas. It has operations primarily in the Western and Eastern regions of the United States. The company, under the Zacks categorized Oil and Gas - United States - Exploration and Production industry, carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

PDC Energy, Inc. Price

PDC Energy, Inc. Price | PDC Energy, Inc. Quote

Some better-ranked players from the same industry include Viper Energy Partners LP VNOM, Legacy Reserves LP LGCY and W&T Offshore, Inc. WTI. While Viper Energy sports a Zacks Rank #1(Strong Buy), Legacy Reserves and W&T Offshore carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Viper Energy Partners delivered positive earnings surprise in each of the trailing four quarters, the average being 20.35%.

Legacy Reserves posted positive average earnings surprise of 11.84% in the last four quarters.

W&T Offshoredelivered positive earnings surprise in each of the trailing four quarters, the average being 69.21%.

Today's Stocks from Zacks' Hottest Strategies                                                            

It's hard to believe, even for us at Zacks. But while the market gained +18.8% from 2016 - Q1 2017, our top stock-picking screens have returned +157.0%, +128.0%, +97.8%, +94.7%, and +90.2% respectively. 

And this outperformance has not just been a recent phenomenon. Over the years it has been remarkably consistent. From 2000 - Q1 2017, the composite yearly average gain for these strategies has beaten the market more than 11X over. Maybe even more remarkable is the fact that we're willing to share their latest stocks with you without cost or obligation. See Them Free>>