Energy stocks were narrowly mixed Thursday afternoon, with the NYSE Energy Sector Index rising 0.02% while the SPDR Energy Select Sector ETF (XLE) was down 0.2%. The Philadelphia Oil-Service Sector index and the Dow Jones US Utilities index both were posting 0.6% gains.
West Texas Intermediate crude oil was slipping $0.10 to $71.91 per barrel while North Sea Brent crude also was sliding $0.44 to $76.73 per barrel. Henry Hub natural gas futures were $0.39 higher at $6.11 per 1 million BTU.
In company news, NextEra Energy Partners (NEP) slid 4.2% after renewable energy producer Thursday priced a $500 million private placement of 2.50% convertible senior notes due 2026. Net proceeds will be used to fund a portion of NextEra's proposed $805 million acquisition of a portfolio of wind and other renewable power projects, repay existing debt and other general partnership purposes, it said.
TC Energy (TRP) was 0.6% higher Thursday afternoon, adding 0.4%, after saying it has temporarily shut down the Keystone pipeline following a confirmed release of oil Wednesday night into a creek in southern Nebraska. Crews were working to repair the affected segment and recover the oil, the company said in a prepared statement without providing details on how much oil was released or recovered so far.
Shell (SHEL) was fractionally higher, also rising 0.4%, after Thursday urging investors to reject an unsolicited "mini-tender" offer by TRC Capital Investment seeking to buy up to 2 million of the energy major's American depositary shares at $53.25 apiece. The TRC bid began Nov. 12 and runs through Dec. 14, according to the company, noting the offering price represents a discount of more than 4% to Wednesday's closing price of $56.35 per ADS.