Energy Sector Update for 03/12/2018: UPL, SGY, AMID, E, BPMX

Top Energy Stocks

XOM +1.21%

CVX -0.20%

COP -0.29%

SLB -0.80%

OXY +0.41%

Energy stocks were trending higher Monday, reversing small declines earlier in the session and the NYSE Energy Sector Index adding slightly more than 0.2% in value while shares of energy companies in the S&P 500 were up nearly 0.2% as a group. Crude oil for April delivery settled 68 cents lower at $61.36 per barrel in New York while the benchmark Brent crude April contract was declined 51 cents to $64.98 per barrel. April gas futures rose 5 cents higher at $2.78 per 1 million BTU. Among energy-related ETFs, United States Oil was up 0.4% while United States Natural Gas was up over nearly 0.2%. The Philadelphia oil-service sector index was up just 0.1%.

In industry news:

Oil prices declined Monday, giving back a portion of their more than 3% increase on Friday following reports Iran will likely move to end the export limits among OPEC member countries that have worked to lift prices following their crash four years ago at the cartel's next meeting. Saudi Arabia, the group's largest producer, favors keeping the cuts in place in a bid to carry the price of oil above $70 per barrel. But Iran's oil minister told the Wall Street Journal that rising prices will encourage U.S. shale producers to boost their drilling and eventually lead to anorther round of oversupply and then falling prices. U.S. oil production has surged over the past year, rising to a record 10.2 million barrels per day in recent weeks.

Among energy stocks moving on news:

+ Ultra Petroleum ( UPL ) was up more than 11% in late Monday trading, staying within a few pennies of its session high of $4.74 a share, after saying its Warbonnet 9-23 A-2H well produced an initial rate of 54.5 million cubic feet equivalent per day over a 24-hour period on March 3. Initial production also included a gas rate of 49.2 million cubic feet per day and an oil rate of 873 barrels per day. The company is accelerating the horizontal program with a focus on the Lower Lance interval where it plans to expand the program beyond the Warbonnet area along the east flank of Pinedale, interim CEO Brad Johnson said. At least two more horizontal wells are expected to come online in April, he said.

In other sector news

+ Stone Energy ( SGY ) was advancing during Monday trading, climbing over 7% to a session high of $35.27 a share after the Canadian oil and natural gas producer reported a Q4 profit for the final three months of 2017, reversing a year-ago net loss despite a 32.5% drop year-over-year in revenue. On a GAAP basis, the company earned $0.85 per share on $76.3 million in revenue during the three months ended Dec. 31 compared with a $20.76 per share net loss on $175.9 million in revenue during the final three months of 2016. No analysts' estimates were available for comparison.

+ American Midstream Partners ( AMID ) has turned higher during Monday trade, reversing a less than 1% decline earlier in the session that follwed the pipeline and infrastructure company reporting a wider Q4 net loss during the three months ended Dec. 31 compared with the prior year period, expanding to $2.54 per share net loss from $0.60 per share last year. Revenue fell to $167.6 million from $175.9 million last year. The single analyst following Stone Energy was looking for a $0.21 per share net loss on $179.9 million in revenue.

+ Eni SpA ( E ) was moderately higher on Monday, rising slightly more than 1% to a session high of $33.96 a share after the Italian energy major late Sunday said it was selling a 10% ownership stake in the Shorouk concession offshore Egypt, to a wholly-owned unit of Mubadala Investment for $934 million. Following the sale, Eni's will continue to own 50% of the offshore project while the Russian energy company Rosneft and BP lpc ( BP ) will control 30% and 10%, respectively. Completion of the transaction is subject to certain standard conditions, including all required authorizations from Egypt's authorities. Separately, Eni said it was establishing a long-term presence in the United Arab Emirates by acquiring a 5% stake in the Lower Zakum offshore oil field and a 10% stake in the oil, condensate and gas offshore fields of Umm Shaif and Nasr, for $875 million.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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