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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for December delivery added $1.17 to $89.08 on the New York Merc, while Brent for December added $1.27 to $96.96 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $28.75 to WTI, down from a discount of $27.25. Natural gas for November lost 42 cents to $5.19. The TSX energy index lost 1.04 points to close at 257.98.
The oil sands had a headline-grabbing day as it witnessed its biggest transaction in years. Suncor Energy Inc. (SU), down 86 cents to $45.38 on 8.36 million shares, has agreed to pay $1-billion to boost its interest in the Fort Hills oil sands project to 75.4 per cent from 54.1 per cent. It will acquire the 21.3-per-cent interest owned by industrial miner Teck Resources, in what will be Teck's exit from the oil and gas sector.
Sitting at opposite sides of the table, Suncor and Teck offered very different perspectives on the deal. Suncor cheered that it "builds upon our strategy to optimize our portfolio around our core operated assets." It added that it is flush with cash to complete the deal (especially as it recently agreed to sell its wind and solar assets for $730-million and its Norwegian energy assets for $410-million). Interim president and chief executive officer Kris Smith expressed "full confidence" in the project.
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