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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for May delivery lost $1.97 to $50.44 on the New York Merc, while Brent for June lost $1.96 to $52.93 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $10.85 to WTI ($39.59), unchanged. Natural gas for May added four cents to $3.19. The TSX energy index lost 3.01 points to close at 196.69.
The drop in oil prices took some wind out of the sails of Surge Energy Inc. (SGY), which lost eight cents to $2.65 on 4.27 million shares, despite trumpeting a potential dividend increase. It also announced a $37-million asset acquisition in Alberta. Surge is currently paying a 0.708-cent monthly dividend, which yielded 3.1 per cent as of yesterday's close. Now it says its board will "look to" boost the dividend to 0.792 cent a month, for a new yield of 3.6 per cent. The proposed increase reflects the "substantial" cash flow that Surge expects to generate from its newly acquired assets. These assets are in the company's core Sparky area of southeastern Alberta and are producing about 745 barrels of oil equivalent a day.
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