Energy stocks added to their Wednesday gains this afternoon, with the NYSE Energy Sector Index climbing 0.7% while the SPDR Energy Select Sector ETF (XLE) was up 1.0%. The Philadelphia Oil-Service Sector index, however, was posting a 0.1% decline and the Dow Jones US Utilities Index also was slipping 0.1%.
Front-month West Texas Intermediate crude oil settled $0.11 lower at $78.39 per barrel while the global benchmark Brent crude contract also was declining $0.15 to $82.16 per barrel. Henry Hub natural gas futures rose $0.10 to $5.0.7 per 1 million BTU.
In company news, Cheniere Energy (LNG) rose 3.9% this afternoon, overcoming a nearly 1% slide earlier Wednesday, after the liquefied natural gas producer signed a binding 20-year sale and purchase agreement with Foran Energy Group, which will buy about 300,000 tons of LNG from Cheniere each year. The contract begins in January 2023, with the purchase price indexed to the Henry Hub price, plus a fixed fee.
Dorchester Minerals (DMLP) rose 2.1% after the oil and natural gas producer late Tuesday said it was acquiring about 4,600 net acres of mineral and royalty interests in 27 counties across New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Wyoming from an unnamed third party in exchange for 1.58 million limited partnership units.
Southwestern Energy (SWN) added 1% on Wednesday after the oil and natural gas company began cash tender offers running through Dec. 29 for up to $250 million of its 4.95% senior notes due 2025 and its 7.75% senior notes maturing in 2027. The redemptions are conditioned on Southwestern completing one or more debt transactions as well as closing on its acquisition of GEP Haynesville.
Chevron (CVX) rose 0.8% after RBC Capital Markets raised its stock rating for the energy major to outperform from sector perform previously and increased its price target for Chevron shares by $15 to $145 each.