Energy stocks extended their outsized gains Wednesday afternoon, with the NYSE Energy Sector Index climbing 3.5% while the SPDR Energy Select Sector ETF was up 4.2% in late trade.
Front-month West Texas Intermediate crude oil settled $1.88 higher at $40.16 per barrel in New York while the global benchmark Brent crude contract increased $1.72 to $42.25 per barrel. Henry Hub natural gas futures fell 10 cents to $2.27 per 1 million BTU.
In company news, Devon Energy (DVN) increased 6% after the oil and natural gas company Wednesday declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.11 per share, unchanged compared with the previous quarter and payable Dec. 30, 2020 to investors of record on Dec. 11.
Marathon Oil (MRO) was 5.5% higher after Wednesday beginning a cash tender offer for up to $500 million of its 2.80% senior notes maturing in 2022. The offer is slated to run through Oct. 14, with bondholders who tender their notes by Sept. 29 eligible for a $50 premium for each $1,000 in face value of the securities tendered plus any accrued but unpaid interest.
Cheniere Energy (LNG) climbed 4.3% after a new regulatory filing showed the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority holds a 5.1% equity interest in the liquefied natural gas producer, owning around 12.7 million Cheniere shares.
Eni (E) was hanging on to a nearly 1% gain the Italian energy major said it was examining development options after discovering natural gas in the Great Nooros area offshore Egypt in the Mediterranean Sea. The Nidoco NW-1 exploratory well found 100 meters of gas-bearing sands with good petrophysical properties, the company said, while a preliminary analysis suggests the reservoir likely contains over 4 trillion cubic feet of gas.