Top Energy Stocks
Energy stocks were mostly lower Wednesday afternoon, with the NYSE Energy Sector Index falling about 0.7% while shares of energy companies in the S&P 500 also were down more than 0.7% as a group. West Texas Intermediate crude oil for August delivery was slipping 44 cents to $57.18 per barrel at the New York Mercantile Exchange while the global benchmark Brent crude September contract was declining 29 cents to $64.06 per barrel. August natural gas futures were 1 cent lower at $2.30 per 1 million BTU. Among energy-related ETFs, the United States Oil fund was falling 2% while the United States Natural Gas fund was dropping about 0.9%. The Philadelphia Oil Service Sector index also was down 2.5%.
In industry news:
US crude oil inventories fell for a fifth week in a row, with the US Energy Information Administration reporting a 3.1 million-barrel drop in commercial stockpiles during the seven days ended July 12 to 455.9 million barrels, exceeding the 1.5 million-barrel decline industry experts polled by S&P Global Platts had been expecting. The larger-than-expected decline compares with the American Petroleum Institute late Tuesday reporting a 1.4 million-barrel drop in crude supplies last week.
Among energy stocks moving on news:
(-) Whiting Petroleum Corp ( WLL ) was 2% lower this afternoon. The oil and natural gas producer late Tuesday said it has hired Correne Loeffler as its new chief financial officer, effective August 1. Loeffler joins Whiting from Callon Petroleum ( CPE ) where she most recently has been vice president for finance. She succeeds Michael Stevens, who is leaving Whiting after 18 years.
In other sector news:
(-) Renewable Energy Group ( REGI ) turned fractionally lower Wednesday afternoon. The company said it has opened an around-the-clock, fully automated diesel fueling station next to its bio-diesel refinery in Seneca, Ill. The REG Seneca facility has a capacity of 60 million gallons per year.
(-) Carrizo Oil & Gas ( CRZO ) fell more than 7% after a Raymond James downgrade on the petroleum company to market perform from a previous investment rating of a strong buy. The move follows Carrizo Monday agreeing to a $3.2 billion stock swap with Callon Petroleum ( CPE ) valuing Carrizo shares at $13.12 per share.