Top Energy Stocks
Energy stocks have pared some of their prior declines Thursday afternoon, with the NYSE Energy Sector Index falling over 1.6% while shares of energy companies in the S&P 500 also were down about 0.8% as a group. West Texas Intermediate crude oil for February delivery settled $1.61 lower at $44.61 per barrel at the New York Mercantile Exchange while the global benchmark Brent crude February contract fell $1.74 to $52.73 per barrel. January natural gas futures rose 10 cents to $3.64 per 1 million BTU. Among energy-related ETFs, the United States Oil fund slipped almost 3.3% while the United States Natural Gas fund rose nearly 2.5%. The Philadelphia Oil Service Sector index was down just over 2.4%.
Among energy stocks moving on news:
(-) Ring Energy ( REI ) was 2% higher Thursday afternoon, reversing a nearly 5% decline previously in the session, after Wednesday night saying it has completed its $15.1 million purchase of 4,763 net acres in Andrews County, Texas, from a subsidiary of Carlyle Group ( CG ) in exchange for 2.6 million Ring Energy shares valued at $5.80 apiece. Ring Energy will be the operator at the new properties with a 100% working interest and a 75% net revenue interest.
In other sector news:
(+) Exxon Mobil ( XOM ) was up fractionally after the energy major said drilling and development operations continue in the southeastern portion of the Stabroek Block offshore Guyana despite a weekend incident that saw the Venezuela Navy stop two seismic-acquisition vessels operating in the area.
(-) PetroChina ( PTR ) slid over 1% on Thursday after shale gas output from its Sichuan field hit a daily record of 20.11 million cubic meters on Dec. 24, more than double its volume on the same day a year ago, according to a Reuters report. PetroChina currently has 143 drill rigs in use compared with only 38 rigs on the same day in 2017.
(-) China Petroleum & Chemical ( SNP ) fell to a new 52-week low on Thursday, slumping over 7% to its lowest share price since Dec. 11, 2017, at $71.71 each following reports the refiner has fired the president of its Unipec trading unit, Chen Bo, along the senior Communist party representative at the company, after government investigators discovered steep trading losses during the second half of 2018 tied to market misjudgment, sources told Reuters.
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