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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for September delivery added $2.20 to $98.62 on the New York Merc, while Brent for September added 52 cents to $107.14 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $21.00 to WTI, unchanged. Natural gas for September added 10 cents to $8.23. The TSX energy index added 6.71 points to close at 238.27.
As the August long weekend approaches, energy investors will enjoy the reprieve from the barrage of quarterly financials. Today was another busy day of second quarter reports, including from oil sands giant Imperial Oil Ltd. (IMO), up $2.31 to $61.37 on 2.79 million shares. Average production of 413,000 barrels a day and cash flow of $4.19 a share were both in line with analysts' predictions. The company lowered its production guidance at one of its core assets, but still managed to impress investors by talking up its dedication to share buybacks.
The core asset that has been giving Imperial some trouble lately is the Kearl oil sands mine, which contributed 224,000 gross barrels a day (159,000 net to Imperial) during the quarter. This was up from 186,000 in the first quarter, but not by as much as management hoped. Its full-year guidance for Kearl was initially 265,000 gross barrels a day. Now, pinning the blame on bad weather during the first half of the year, Imperial has reduced Kearl's full-year target to 245,000 gross barrels a day.
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