Energy Stocks Falling With Drop in Crude Oil Prices; Cobalt International Surging After Investor Presentation

Top Energy Stocks

XOM -0.54%

CVX -1.66%

COP -0.85%

SLB -0.89%

OXY -0.77%

Energy stocks are mostly lower, with the NYSE Energy Sector Index sinking 0.6% while shares of energy companies in the S&P 500 are down more than 0.8% as a group. Crude oil for February delivery is down 70 cents at $92.97 per barrel while February natural gas is down 5 cents to $4.25 per 1 million BTU.

In company news, Cobalt International Energy Inc. ( CIE ) rose after telling analysts and investors at the 2014 Goldman Sachs Global Energy Conference in Miami it finished its fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2013, with between $1.6 billion to $1.7 billion in restricted and unrestricted cash, up from $1.425 billion at the end of 2012, according to company records.

The oil and gas company's restricted cash includes cash collateralized letters of credit relating to its offshore operations in Angola. Unrestricted cash includes short- and long-term investments in addition to cash and equivalents.

CIE expects to spend between $750 million to $850 million on capital and operating projects during FY14, with more resources steered into appraisal and development activities over exploration compared to prior years, according to a slide presentation by the company at the Goldman conference.

The company also said it is expecting well results from its 40% owned Bicuar No. 1 well now being drilled off the coast of Angola in western Africa before the end of the current quarter, slightly ahead of schedule. Results from the Orca No. 1 well spud last month in a nearby exploration field also are anticipated before the end of March, CIE said.

CIE shares were up 2.7% at $16.84 each in recent trade, holding within close range of its best levels of the session at $16.91. The stock has a 52-week range of $13.75 to $30.27 a share, falling to a two-year low during December after CIE announced plans to plug and abandon a dry hole it drilled in the Gulf of Mexico.

In other sector news,

(+) BPZ, (+11.5%) Said its 51%-owned Albacora A-18D development well offshore Peru has produced about 1,071 barrels per day on a net basis for the company over the past seven days. Testing also continues on the CX15-D well in the Corvina Field.

(-) COP, (-0.9%) Lowers Q4 daily production to around 1.475 mln barrels per day due to "significant" weather-related downtime, particularly in the continental U.S. and the North Sea. Expected 2014 production unchanged at 1.6 mln barrels per day.

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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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