Energy stocks were higher this afternoon, with the NYSE Energy Sector Index up 0.7% while the SPDR Energy Select Sector ETF (XLE) was also up 0.7%.
West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil in the Front Month rose $ 0.60 to $ 68.89 a barrel, reversing an early decline after the Energy Information Administration posted a smaller-than-expected decline in U.S. dollars in the seven days ending August 6. Had reported inventories around 400,000 barrels, the benchmark crude oil contract Brent also rose $ 0.48 to $ 71.11 a barrel while the Henry Hub natural gas futures were down $ 0.02 to 4, 07 US dollars per 1 million BTU.
In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund (USO) was up 0.7%, while the United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was down 1.2%. The Philadelphia Oil-Service Sector Index was up 1.2% and the Dow Jones US Utilities Index was up 0.8%.
In company news, Vine Energy (VEI) rose 2.5% after the natural gas producer agreed to a $ 2.2 billion offer from Chesapeake Energy (CHK), with investors $ 1.20 per share and $ 0. Received 2,486 of a Chesapeake share for each of their Vine shares. The deal values Vine at $ 15 per share, or about 0.8% above Tuesday’s closing price. Chesapeake shares were also 2.3% higher.
WR Grace & Co (GRA) was marginally lower after the chemical company announced that its joint venture with Chevron (CVX) won a five-year contract worth $ 240 million to sell Bahrain Petroleum Co in addition to the full-cycle catalyst with its Resid -Hydrocracking catalyst to supply Bapco refinery management from 2023. Chevron shares rose 0.7%.
New Fortress Energy (NFE) fell 3% after announcing new agreements on Wednesday to supply up to 41 trillion UK thermal units of natural gas annually to Brazilian fertilizer maker Unigel Participacoes for the next five years. Financial terms were not disclosed.
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