Top Energy Stocks
Energy stocks rose Friday, reversing early declines after crude oil started climbing again, with the NYSE Energy Sector Index climbing nearly 0.8% this afternoon while shares of energy companies in the S&P 500 were up nearly 0.9% as a group. In commodities trading, West Texas Intermediate crude oil for August delivery was climbing 63 cents to $70.96 per barrel in New York while the global benchmark Brent crude September contract was advancing 89 cents to $75.34 per barrel. August natural gas futures were 3 cents lower at $2.77 per 1 million BTU. Among energy-related ETFs, United States Oil was increasing more than 1.0% this morning while United States Natural Gas was dropping nearly 1.1%. The Philadelphia Oil-Services index also was nearly 0.7% higher in recent trade.
In industry news:
U.S. energy companies added two natural gas drillrigs into the field during the seven days ended July 13 while the number of operating crude oil rigs stayed steady from the prior week at 863 and lifting the total U.S. rig census to 1,054, according to Baker Hughes ( BHGE ). Canadian operators continue to ramp up their work during the heart of the summer drill season, bringing 13 more oil rigs along with two natural gas rig into use this week, producing a total Canadian count of 139 oil rigs and 58 natural gas rigs. The North American total increased by 17 rigs to 1,251 during the week, up from 1,143 rigs in use during the same week last year.
Among energy stocks moving on news:
- Frontline ( FRO ) was narrowly lower in mid-day trading, paring a slightly more than 1% decline earlier Friday after the oil tanker company said its Frontline Shipping and Ship Finance International Ltd units have terminated long-term charter agreements for three of its very large crude carriers - the Front Page, Front Serenade and Front Stratus - after selling the vessels to an unrelated third party. Frontline will pay Ship Finance $10.1 million for the termination of the charters in the form of three promissory notes. The companies expect the transactions to close before Sept. 30.
In other sector news
+ Mammoth Energy Services ( TUSK ) was fractionally higher Friday afternoon, giving back a portion of an earlier 1.5% gain after the company said Gulfport Energy Corp ( GPOR ) has extended the term of its existing contract with Mammoth's Stingray Pressure Pumping subsidiary by an extra 39 months through Dec. 31, 2021. The original contract with Stingray providing pressure pumping and hydraulic fracturing services had been set to expire Sept. 30. The service area of the contract also was expanded to include both Ohio and Oklahoma, Mammoth said.
- Halliburton ( HAL ) was nearly 1% higher this afternoon, recovering from a small decline soon after the opening bell after the firm late Thursday declared an $0.18 per share dividend, unchanged from the most recent distribution to investors of the oilfield-services company. The dividend is payable Sept. 26 to shareholders of record on Sept. 5.
- Parker Drilling Co (PKD) tumbled Friday, dropped more than 12%, after the firm said its board of directors has authorized a 15-for-1 reverse stock split to take effect prior to the July 27 market open. The reverse split is expected to lift Parker's share price above $1 and bring its stock back in compliance with New York Stock Exchange rules for minimum share price of listed companies. The company also said it has adopted a short-term shareholder rights plan it said will protect the best interests of shareholders by keeping any party from making an unsolicited takeover bid of the oilfield-services company.