Energy stocks are narrowly higher this afternoon with the NYSE
Energy Sector Index rising about 0.2% while shares of energy
companies in the S&P 500 are ahead about 0.3% as a group. Crude
oil for February delivery is up $1.19 at $99.25 per barrel while
January natural gas is up 19 cents to $4.44 per 1 million BTU.
In company news, Cobalt International Energy (
) is down 8% at $14.35 a share, earlier sliding to a new 52-week
low of $13.75 and extending a 32% decline since Nov. 22 through
last night's close after announcing plans to plug and abandon an
exploratory wellbore in the Gulf of Mexico.
CIE and partner Total SA (
) had drilled the Aegean No. 1 exploratory well in the Keathley
Canyon exploration block around 300 miles off the Louisiana coast
to a total depth of 34,701 feet through the inboard Lower Tertiary
formation without encountering commercial levels of hydrocarbons.
CIE, as operator of the project, owns a 60% interest while TOT
holds the remaining 40% stake.
The dry hole stands in contrast to other deepwater operators in
the region recently announcing major discoveries. ConocoPhillips (
) yesterday said it found significant oil discovery at its Gila
prospect in the Keathley Canyon, joining recent discoveries at its
Tiber, Shenandoah and Coronado prospects in Lower Tertiary
COP holds a 20% working interest in the Gila well, operated by
BP plc (
). BP has said more drilling is necessary to determine how big -
and potentially how valuable - the new discovery may be. COP shares
are down 0.4% today while BP is ahead around 0.9%.
In other sector news,
(-) SM, (+1.7%) Forecasts 16% year over year increase in 2014
production to 51.0 mln to 53.5 mln barrels of oil equivalent, with
liquids comprising 53% of yearly production. Approves $1.9-bln
capital program, up about 15% over year-ago levels.
(-) ROSE, (-6.7%) Approves $1.1-bln capital budget for 2014,
with roughly two-thirds spent in the Eagle Ford shale formation in
southern Texas. Full year production seen in a range of 60,000 to
65,000 barrels per day - up at least 9.1% over expected Q4
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