Energy stocks eased from their earlier gains this afternoon, with the NYSE Energy Sector Index rising 2.6% and the SPDR Energy Select Sector ETF (XLE) up 3.5%.
The Philadelphia Oil-Service Sector index was posting a 3.9% advance and the Dow Jones US Utilities Index was unchanged.
West Texas Intermediate crude oil settled $2.41 higher at $94.34 per barrel while North Sea Brent crude was advancing $1.79 to $99.19 per barrel. Henry Hub natural gas futures rose $0.67 to $8.87 per 1 million BTU.
In company news, GeoPark (GPRK) gained 3.5% after the South American energy producer reported a Q2 net profit of $67.9 million, reversing a $2.5 million loss during the same quarter last year, while revenue increased 88% to $311.2 million, topping the three-analyst mean expecting $297.3 million. The company also raised its quarterly dividend by 54.9% to $0.127 per share.
Golar LNG (GLNG) gained 6.2% after reporting Q2 net income of $230 million, down from $471.4 million a year ago, and operating revenue of $67.2 million, up from $65.3 million last year.
Earthstone Energy (ESTE) rose 4.9% after late Wednesday closing on its purchase of assets in the northern Delaware Basin in New Mexico, paying $575 million in cash and issuing 3.9 million common shares to former owners Titus Oil & Gas. Earthstone also said it has secured a $300 million increase to its secured borrowing base to $1.7 billion.
Vaalco Energy (EGY) rose 1% after reporting non-GAAP Q2 net income of $0.52 per share, up from $0.14 a year ago, while oil and natural gas sales increased more than 136% over year-ago levels, reaching $111 million and beating the single-analyst call expecting $107.1 million in revenue for the June quarter.
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