Top Energy Stocks
Energy stocks pared some of their previous declines this afternoon after near-month crude oil futures pushed past $70 per barrel again. At last look, the NYSE Energy Sector Index Thursday fell more than 0.4% while shares of energy companies in the S&P 500 were down almost 0.3% as a group. West Texas Intermediate crude oil for October delivery settled 74 cents higher at $70.25 per barrel at the New York Mercantile Exchange while the global benchmark Brent crude October contract advanced 42 cents to $77.56 per barrel. October natural gas futures rose 1 cent to $2.87 per 1 million BTU. Among energy-related ETFs, United States Oil climbed almost 0.7% while United States Natural Gas rose nearly 0.5%. The Philadelphia Oil Service Sector index was sinking over 1.1% today.
In industry news:
Natural gas inventories rose by 70 billion cubic feet during the seven days ended August 24, reaching 2.505 trillion cubic feet and marking the 18th week in a row U.S. supplies have increased, according to the Energy Information Administration. Last week's build tops the 30 billion-cubic-foot rise during the same week in August 2017 although the total amount in storage still was about 20.5% under year-ago levels and was also lagging the five-year historical average for this time of the year by about 19%.
Among energy stocks moving on news:
(-) TransCanada (TRP,TRP.TO) was down just under 1% in late trade after Canada's Federal Court of Appeal earlier Thursday quashed approval of the company's Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project by the federal government, concluding Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's cabinet made a "critical mistake" by not considering the potential impact of increased tanker traffic off the British Columbia coast resulting from the pipeline expansion. The decision will also require the Trudeau government to restart talks about the project with the First Nations before construction can proceed. The proposed expansion would triple the current capacity of the Edmonton-to-Vancouver pipeline to 890,000 barrels per day and also create the country's first major overseas export terminal on the Strait of Georgia near Vancouver.
In other sector news
(+) Geospace Technologies ( GEOS ) has climbed almost 2% higher this afternoon after the maker of seismic data equipment used to identify oil and natural gas formations Thursday said it received contracts valued at more than $20 million from a pair of unidentified international seismic contractors that plan to rent as many as 12,500 stations fot its cableless ocean-bottom OBX nodal system. Delivery is expected to begin late in the company's fiscal Q1 ending Dec. 31, with revenue recognition continuing throughout calendar 2019.
(+) Hess Corp ( HES ) was more than 1% higher in late Thursday trading after the exploration and production company announced another oil discovery off the coast of Guyana, with the Hammerhead-1 well becoming the company's fifth discovery in the Stabroek block over the past 12 months. Drilling began July 27, with the well extending 13,862 feet below the seafloor in 3,373 feet of water and encountering 197 feet of high-quality, oil-bearing sandstone reservoir.
(-) GulfMark Offshore ( GLF ) was back on negative ground, retreating from a nearly 1% advance earlier Thursday that followed the marine oilfield-service company saying HGIM Corp's unsolicited buyout offer on August 1 could produce a better deal than its current merger agreement with Tidewater ( TDW ). That determination allows GulfMark to negotiate a potential deal with the marine transportation company although the company warned there was no guarantee those talks would produce a superior offer. Earlier Thursday, GulfMark and Tidewater filed a joint proxy and registration statement for their merger proposal.