Energy stocks continued to drift lower this afternoon, with the NYSE Energy Sector Index falling 0.7% although the SPDR Energy Select Sector ETF (XLE) was down 0.2% in late trade. The Philadelphia Oil-Service Sector index was slipping 0.3% and the Dow Jones US Utilities Index was dropping 0.2%.
West Texas Intermediate crude oil was $1.02 higher at $113.23 per barrel while Brent crude was climbing $0.56 to $112.60 per barrel. Henry Hub natural gas futures fell $0.23 to $8.08 per 1 million BTU.
In company news, Natural Gas Services Group (NGS) was edging 0.4% lower late in Friday trading after the natural gas compression equipment and services company said it reached a negotiated retirement agreement with Stephen Taylor, who will step down as CEO and president but will continue as chairman on its board. Lead independent director John Chisholm will become interim president and CEO.
MPLX (MPLX) climbed 2.2% after the energy infrastructure company and partner companies EnLink Midstream (ENLC), Devon Energy (DVN) and privately held WhiteWater said they were moving forward with construction on the Matterhorn Express natural gas pipeline between the Permian Basin in western Texas and refineries near Houston after securing sufficient commitments from shippers. Devon shares were 0.8% higher while Enlinc Midstream was fractionally higher.
NRG Energy (NRG) declined 1.3% after the electricity merchant Friday announced the sale of a 15-megawatt microgrid portfolio of commercial and industrial customers in New England and the PMJ Interconnection regional transmission organization to a subsidiary of privately held E2 Companies. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Centennial Resource Development (CDEV) slumped 5.1% after BMO Capital trimmed its price target for the oil and natural gas producer by $1 to $8 a share and reiterated its market perform rating for the stock on Friday, one day after Centennial announced its $3.9 billion purchase of privately held Colgate Energy Partners.