Energy stocks were broadly higher Friday with the NYSE Energy
Sector Index rising about 0.7% while shares of energy companies in
the S&P 500 were up 0.8% as a group. Crude oil for July
delivery was up 47 cents at $106.52 per barrel while July natural
gas was down 4 cents to $4.54 per 1 million BTU.
In company news, Hercules Offshore Inc. (
) tumbled Friday after the oilfield services company said it was
forced to terminate a drilling rig contract with Sonangol EP,
costing the company an estimated $91.8 million, after executives at
the Angolan state-owned energy concern failed to secure the
necessary visas for HERO employees to work in the west African
According to HERO, Sonangol officials failed to accept any of at
least three local representatives who met its international legal
compliance standards and was required under terms of the company's
contract with Sonangol. In anticipation of starting work under the
contract, HERO in late April had moved its Hercules 267 rig from
Gabon to the Angolan offshore, with the facility generating no
revenue as the dispute over a local representative kept HERO
workers from obtaining visas as well as delaying delivery of parts
and other equipment needed to operate the drill rig.
Due to the failure of Sonangol officials to accept a local
representative that meets the company's international legal
compliance standards, the company has experienced delays in
obtaining Angolan visas for required crewmembers and delays in
importing required parts and equipment into Angola to support
operations under the drilling contract for the Hercules 267 (the
"Contract"). As a result of these delays, the Contract will be
terminated. Pursuant to an agreement with the customer, the company
will not have any contractual exposure to the customer as a result
of the Contract termination.
In addition to cancelled Hercules 267 contract, HERO also
voluntarily resigned a three-year contract award for its Hercules
Triumph drill rig also in Angolan waters.
HERO shares recently were down 11.5% at $4.36 apiece, just 2
cents above its session low and falling to within 15 cents of its
52-week low of $4.21 a share. Over the past 12 months, the stock
has declined a total of 31.6%.
In other sector news,
(+) ETE, (+2.9%) Terminates "high level" negotiations to merge
with Targa Resources Corp (
) and its Targa Resources Partners LP (
) operating unit without an agreement. Both TRGP and NGLS shares
fell sharply after their statement last night.
(-) EMES, (-10.96%) Prices secondary public offering of 3.52 mln
equity units at $109.06 each. Selling unitholders include Superior
Silica Resources, which cut its ownership by nearly 30% to 6.6 mln
units, or about 27.8% of the company.
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