Top Energy Stocks
Energy stocks were declining Wednesday, falling for the first time this week. In commodities trading, West Texas Intermediate crude oil for August delivery was slipping 47 cents to $73.64 per barrel at the New York Mercantile while the global benchmark Brent crude September contract was declining $1.71 to $77.15 per barrel. August natural gas futures were a penny higher at $2.80 per 1 million BTU. Among energy-related ETFs, United States Oil was dropping 0.8% while United States Natural Gas was climbing over 0.7%.
In industry news:
Crude oil prices softened overnight after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the White House would consider extending sanctions relief to some oil buyers of Iranian crude beyond the previously announced November deadline. Pompeo's remarks were made as the US was sending officials to the Middle East to shore up support for sanctions and stood in sharp contrast to State Department comments two weeks ago warning allies to eliminate their imports of Iranian crude by Nov. 4 or face sanctions.
Traders also will be watching the Energy Information Administration later Wednesday morning, when the federal agency reports US crude oil inventories for the seven days ended July 6 at 10:30 am ET. Industry experts polled by S&P Global Platts are expecting a decline of 4.8 million barrels last week. That compares with a drop of 6.795 million barrels for the same seven-day period reported late Tuesday by the American Petroleum Institute while the EIA last week reported a surprise increase of 1.2 million barrels during the seven days ended June 30.
Among energy stocks moving on news:
- Transocean Ltd ( RIG ) was falling over 1% in Wednesday's early session after the oilfield-service company, through a subsidiary, late Tuesday priced a $600 million private placement of 6.125% senior secured notes due 2025. The notes will be callable after Aug. 1, 2021. Net proceeds from the offering will be used to partially fund construction and the acquisition of the Deepwater Pontus drillrig.
In other sector news
= Sanchez Energy ( SN ) late Tuesday said Christopher Heinson has resigned as chief operating officer at the oil and natural gas producer to become chief executive officer with another energy company.