Top Energy Stocks
Energy stocks were finishing with moderate gains this afternoon, with the NYSE Energy Sector Index climbing over 0.5% while shares of energy companies in the S&P 500 were up slightly more than 0.6% as a group. West Texas Intermediate crude oil for August delivery settled 33 cents higher at $55.63 per barrel at the New York Mercantile Exchange while the global benchmark Brent crude September contract advanced $1.04 to $62.97 per barrel. August natural gas futures fell 4 cents to $2.25 per 1 million BTU.
In industry news:
US oil and natural gas companies removed a net four drill rigs from the field during the seven days ended July 19, this week operating 779 oil rigs and 174 natural gas rigs, according to data compiled by energy services firm Baker Hughes ( BHGE ). The rig count in Canada fell by two, with companies pulling five more oil rigs and bringing three more natural gas rigs into service over the past week. The combined North America count fell by three to 1,072 rigs, representing a 14.7% decline compared with year-ago levels.
Among energy stocks moving on news:
Permian Basin Royalty Trust ( PBT ) was more than 2% lower in late Friday trade after its trustees declared a July cash distribution of $0.044227 per unit, rising 11.4% over its $0.039700 per unit distribution in June but lagging its $0.057454 per unit payout in July 2018. The upcoming distribution is payable August 14 to investors or record on July 31.
In other sector news:
(+) Range Resources ( RRC ) rose 2.9% on Friday after the oil and natural gas producer announced property sales totaling $634 million in combined proceeds, which will be used to pay down existing debt owed under its revolving credit facility. In one transaction, the company last month closed on the $34 million sale of non-producing acreage in Pennsylvania and it also agreed to sell its 2% proportionately reduced overriding royalty interest on 350,000 net surface acres in southwest Appalachia for $600 million.
(+) McDermott International ( MDR ) climbed more than 2% after Friday saying it has received a "sizeable" contract to provide YPF SA ( YPF ) with pre-front-end engineering design services for its LNG liquefaction facility at the Vaca Muerta shale field in Argentina. Work on the project is slated to begin immediately, McDermott said, adding the contract award will be reflected in its Q2 backlog.
(-) Schlumberger (SLB) declined 0.2% after the oilfield-services company reported a drop in non-GAAP net income compared with the same quarter last year, falling to $0.35 per share during the three months ended June 30 from $0.43 per share a year ago, but matching the Capital IQ consensus forecast. Revenue also slipped from year-ago levels, falling to $8.27 billion from $8.30 billion last year but topped the $8.11 billion Street view.