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BP

Energy Stocks Rising; Supreme Court Rules BP Must Keep Paying Damage Awards During Appeal

Top Energy Stocks

XOM +0.09%

CVX +0.23%

COP +0.12%

SLB +0.58%

OXY -0.03%

Energy stocks were moderately higher, with the NYSE Energy Sector Index rising about 0.4% while shares of energy companies in the S&P 500 were up 0.4% as a group. Crude oil for July delivery was up $1.61 at $104.27 per barrel while July natural gas was down 1 cent at $4.70 per 1 million BTU.

In company news, BP plc ( BP ) shares were unchanged Monday afternoon after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the company must continue paying claims to individuals and businesses harmed by its April 2010 deepwater oil spil.

The high court let stand, without comment, lower court refusals to halt payments while BP appeals rulings that businesses don't have to prove they were directly harmed by the spill to collect money.

BP will ask the high court to review whether it must pay claims without any apparent connection to the spill, a company spokesman told the Associated Press in an emailed statement.

The company set up the claims fund after its Macondo well blew out and exploded off the Louisiana coast and spewed oil into the Gulf for nearly three months. BP initially estimated claims would total around $7.8 billion but later said the administrator had misinterpreted the settlement in ways that could add billions of dollars in bogus or inflated claims.

BP shares were steady at $50.81 apiece in afternoon trade, slipping from an early high of $50.94 a share during today's session. The stock has a 52-week range of $40.51 to $51.56 a share, rising about 24% over the past 12 months.

In other sector news,

(+) CHK, (+0.5%) Board approves plan to spin off its oilfield-services firm into a standalone public company operating as Seventy Seven Energy Inc. Shareholders will receive one Seventy Seven share for every 14 CHK shares they own.

(-) ESTE, (-3.4%) Restarts testing and completion operations at its previously unproductive and 96% owned WCNU No. 126 well after acid stimulation last week. Two other nearby wells are partially completed and shut-in pending No. 126 results.

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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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