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Energy Summary for July 25, 2022

2022-07-25 20:25 ET - Market Summary

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by Stockwatch Business Reporter

West Texas Intermediate crude for September delivery added $2.00 to $96.70 on the New York Merc, while Brent for September added $1.95 to $105.15 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $20.50 to WTI, down from a discount of $20.75. Natural gas for August added 43 cents to $8.73. The TSX energy index added 7.61 points to close at 221.70.

Craig Steinke's Namibian wildcatter, Reconnaissance Energy Africa Ltd. (RECO), set a new 52-week low, losing 27 cents to $4.15 on 699,500 shares. It made headlines on Friday and over the weekend after The Globe and Mail reported that the company is facing an RCMP investigation over allegations of foreign corruption and securities fraud. There are no formal charges of wrongdoing, and The Globe was careful to note that the investigation may conclude that no charges should be brought.

As the Globe tells the story, the investigation is "in the early stages" and centres on Reconnaissance's links to politically influential figures in Namibia, as well as the company's stock promotion activities. The company allegedly did not secure all of the necessary water and land-use permits in the early phases of its drilling in 2021, but appears to have faced no repercussions from Namibian regulators. The 2021 drill program comprised two test wells, both of which were much hyped in Reconnaissance's press releases after finding "good oil and gas shows" (a preliminary assessment that makes no guarantee of commercial viability). Excitement about the wells sent the stock soaring to a high of $13.84 in mid-2021 from about 75 cents in late 2020. (It has since retreated to about $4.)

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