Sector Update: Energy Shares Higher Ahead of the Close; Crude Futures Close Above $100 a Barrel

NYMEX Benchmark Crude June: (+3.3%) to $100.10

Top Energy Stocks

XOM: +1.4%

CVX: +2.3%

COP: +1.7%

SLB: +1.6%

OXY: +0.8%

Energy shares are higher in late trading as crude oil futures manage to hold some gains to close above $100 a barrel.

Light, sweet crude oil for June delivery finished up 3.3% to $100.10 a barrel. In other energy futures, heating oil was up 2.15% to $2.90 a gallon while natural gas was up 0.41% to at $4.19 per million British thermal units.

In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund ( USO ) is up 2.62% to $39.55. The United States Natural Gas ETF ( UNG ) is up 0.28% at $10.84.

In late-session energy news, Xcel Energy ( XEL ) CEO and Chairman Richard C. Kelly, today, announced his intention to retire, effective Aug. 24, 2011, during the company's annual meeting of shareholders in Minneapolis.

Kelly has spent 43 years with Xcel, holding various positions, including president and CEO, chief operating officer and chief financial officer.

The company's board of directors announced that they have elected Benjamin G.S. Fowke III, current Xcel President and COO, to succeed Kelly.

Xcel shares are down 0.55% to $25.09.

Meanwhile, commercial crude oil inventories remained at 370.3 million barrels, above the upper limit of the average range for this time of year, the EIA said. Analysts polled by Platts were looking for crude stocks to gain by 500,000 barrels.

The EIA reported a slight 100,000 barrel gain in gasoline, putting inventories at the lower limit of the average range. Analysts were looking for a 550,000-barrel gain. Distillates decreased 1.2 million barrels; analysts had expected an increase of 600,000 barrels.

Also, Chevron ( CVX ) shares are higher as Bloomberg reports the oil major is not seeking partners for its shale-gas fields in Poland. Furthermore, the company isn't seeking additional reserves in Poland, the report said.

Chevron reportedly owns four shale gas exploration licenses in Poland's Lublin basin, where it will begin drilling exploratory wells in Q4 of this year.

Chevron shares are up 2.16%, or $2.17, to $102.58.

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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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