Energy stocks are slightly lower with the NYSE Energy Sector Index and the S&P Energy Index both declining about 0.25%. Crude oil for May delivery is up 93 cents to $94.64 per barrel. May natural gas is up 4 cents to $3.99 per 1 mln BTU.
In company news, ZaZa Energy ( ZAZA ) is up 3.6% to $1.71 a share, earlier climbing as high as $1.98 after saying it will sell about 10,000 net acres in southeastern Texas, generating around $42 mln in net proceeds.
It also plans to sell its remaining properties in Fayette, Gonzalez and Lavaca counties of Texas for an additional $9.2 million. Both deals are expected to close during Q2.
Separately, ZAZA has signed a joint exploration and development agreement with a large, unnamed oil and gas firm to further develop about 73,000 acres in the Eaglebine shale formation. The joint venture partner will receive up to a 75% working interest in the project with ZAZA retaining a 25% working interest.
Early-stage drilling preparations are already underway for the first two wells under the joint venture with the companies expecting to have drilled three earning wells by next January.
In other sector news,
(+) LNG, (+0.4%, hit new year high earlier) Inks $15-bln deal to supply 1.7 million metric tons of liquidified natural gas each year to Centrica, a British gas and electric supllier, according to the (U.K.) Daily Telegraph.
(+) GST, (+6.2%) Says production to date has been little affected by Friday's rupture of a Williams Partners ( WPZ ) natural gas pipeline in Marshall County, W. Va., reaffirming its Q1 production guidance of 38 mln to 41 mln cubic feet per day. WPZ is down 0.3%.
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