Shares of energy companies were higher with the NYSE Energy Index up 1.3%. Front-month West Texas Intermediate crude oil was rising 31 cents to $40.24 per barrel at the New York Mercantile Exchange while the global benchmark Brent crude contract was up 10 cents to $41.87 per barrel. Henry Hub natural gas futures were 11 cents higher at $2.24 per 1 million BTU.
Among energy-related ETFs, the United States Oil Fund is ahead 1.6% while the United States Natural Gas Fund is advancing 2.5%. The Philadelphia Oil-Service Sector index was slipping 0.6% in recent trade.
In company news, Vermilion Energy (VET) rose 3.1% after late Wednesday saying its costs to move oil from the Paris Basin will likely rise by $20 million per year following a decision this week by Total (TOT) to end crude oil refining at its facility in Grandpuits, France, early next year, and instead process around 5,000 barrels per day for Vermilion at one of its other refineries in France.
Global Partners (GLP) rose 4.3% after the oil and fuel storage company late Wednesday priced a $350 million private placement of 6.875% senior unsecured notes due 2029. Net proceeds will be used to fund the planned Oct. 23 redemption of its 7% senior notes due in 2023, paying 101.75% of their face value plus any unpaid interest. Any remaining funds will be used to pay down debt.
Chevron (CVX) was 1.2% higher after the energy company Thursday announced a new joint venture with California Bioenergy and dairy farmers in California's Central Valley to produce renewable natural gas from cow manure. The partners plan to fund methane capture and digester projects where dairy biogas is processed into natural gas and sold as an alternative fuel for heavy-duty trucks and buses.