Top Energy Stocks
Energy stocks were sharply higher this afternoon, with the NYSE Energy Sector Index rising over 1.4% while shares of energy companies in the S&P 500 were up more than 1.7% as a group. West Texas Intermediate crude oil for November delivery was slipping 68 cents to $53.10 per barrel in New York while the global benchmark Brent crude December contract was declining 74 cents to $58.68 per barrel. November natural gas futures were 9 cents lower at $2.23 per 1 million BTU. Among energy-related ETFs, the United States Oil Fund was down about 0.5% while the United States Natural Gas fund was sinking around 3.9%. The Philadelphia Oil Service Sector index was posting a 3.7% advance.
Among energy stocks moving on news:
(-) Ecopetrol SA (EC) declined fractionally after the Columbian energy major Monday said it was acquiring a 30% stake in the Gato do Mato discovery in Brazil's Santos Basin from a Royal Dutch Shell (RDS-A,RDS-B) subsidiary. Under the deal, Shell will retain a 50% stake and continue as operator while French oil and gas giant Total SA will own the remaining 20% stake. Ecopetrol is expecting its share will grow to around 20,000 barrels of crude oil per day by 2025. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
In other sector news:
(+) Halliburton (HAL) rose 7% after Monday reporting Q3 net income of $0.34 per share, matching Wall Street estimates and the oilfield-services giant also saying it still was confident its international operations will grow in high single-percentage digits this year.
(-) McDermott International (MDR) dropped over 11% this afternoon, reversing a 29% advance soon after Monday's opening bell that followed the oilfield-services company saying it secured access to up to $1.7 billion of additional financing. Under the terms of the agreement, McDermott will have immediate access to $650 million of financing consisting of a $550 million term loan and a $100 million letter of credit, before reduction for related transaction fees and costs.