Energy stocks are moderately higher today with the NYSE Energy Sector Index rising about 0.4% and the S&P Energy Index gaining about 0.6%. Crude oil for February delivery is down 11 cents to $93.01 per barrel. February natural gas is down 5 cents at $3.19 per 1 million BTU.
In company news, Forest Oil ( FST ) shares are ahead over 6% after the company said it is selling all of its south Texas properties outside of the Eagle Ford Shale for $325 million in cash, after taxes. The properties produced about 66 million cublic feet of natural gas per day during Q3 and contains around 272 billion cubic feet of proved reserves at the end of 2011. The properties generated about $60 million of lease-level income last year. FST will use sale proceeds to pay down debt. It also retains all of its natural gas hedges.
In other sector news,
(+) CVA, (+0.8%, nearer year highs) Partners with Clean Energy Fuels Corp. ( CLNE ) to sell compressed natural gas at selected U.S. stations. CLNE is up nearly 6%.
(+) QRE, (+1.1%) Acquires $145 million of oil properties in the Jay field along the Florida Gulf Coast from its sponsor Quantum Resources Funds.
(-) LPH, (-72.9%, hit new 52 week lows) Short-seller Geoinvesting.com alleges the company "massively" overstates its business operations "on an order of magnitude unmatched by any China-based companies we have seen." Cites video surveillance of Taiyuan and Gujiao storage facilities over seven-week period ended Dec. 13.
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