Energy stocks turned narrowly higher this afternoon, with the NYSE Energy Sector Index rising nearly 0.1% while the shares of energy companies in the S&P 500 also were up slightly more than 0.2% as a group. West Texas Intermediate crude oil for November delivery settled 36 cents higher at $52.81 per barrel while the global benchmark Brent crude December contract advanced 60 cents to $58.31 per barrel. November natural gas futures rose 2 cents to $2.35 per 1 million BTU.
In industry news:
US energy companies pulled another three crude oil drillrigs out of the field during the seven days ended Oct. 4, reducing the number of active rigs to its lowest level since May 2017 at 710, according to data compiled by oilfield-services firm Baker Hughes (BHGE). A year ago, there were 861 oil rigs in use throughout the United States. Natural gas producers also idled two US rigs this week while Canadian operators kept the number of gas rigs steady at 39, trimming the combined count to 183 gas rigs. Canadian companies had 105 operating oil rigs, up 17 over the prior week and boosting the North American total to 999, down from 1,234 rigs in use during the same week last year.
Among energy stocks moving on news:
(+) Phillips 66 (PSX) climbed 1.5% on Friday after the refinery and energy logistics company authorized an additional $3 billion for its stock buyback program, boosting its total for share repurchases since 2012 to $15 billion. The company Friday also declared a $0.90 per share quarterly dividend, unchanged from its most recent distribution and payable Dec. 2 to shareholders of record on Nov. 18.
In other sector news:
(+) Hess Midstream Partners (HESM) rose almost 5% after the firm announced its $6.2 billion acquisition of privately held Global Infrastructure Partners and Hess Infrastructure Partners from Hess Corp (HES). Under terms of the deal, Hess Midstream will issue around $4.5 billion of its stock and pay $550 million in cash and will also assume about $1.15 billion of debt.
(-) C&J Energy Services (CJ) declined nearly 2% this afternoon. The oilfield-services firm Friday declared a special cash dividend of $1.00 per share payable to investors of record on Oct. 18. It has not yet determined a payment date.
(-) PetroChina (PTR) was almost 2% lower in late trade. The company reportedly has discovered high flows of natural gas and condensate from its Bozi-9 exploration well in the Tarim basin of Xinjiang province. The well is yielding around 418,200 cubic meters of natural gas and 115.15 cubic meters of condensate per day, according to Reuters, citing a social media posting.
Price: 100.61, Change: +1.74, Percent Change: +1.76
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