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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for August delivery added 71 cents to $38.72 on the New York Merc, while Brent for August added 74 cents to $41.05 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $9.50 to WTI, down from a discount of $8.95. Natural gas for July plunged 12 cents to $1.48, breaking below $1.50 for the first time since 1995, on swelling stockpiles. Weekly data released today by the U.S. Energy Information Agency showed storage levels currently sitting at around 3.01 trillion cubic feet, up from 2.27 trillion this time last year. The TSX energy index added a fraction to close at 76.41.
Colombian oil producer Parex Resources Inc. (PXT) added 57 cents to $16.04 on 1.01 million shares, after hyping "action plans" to boost production and ramp up spending. It trumpeted "greater visibility to stabilizing netbacks" as it detailed its get-back-to-work activities. Some of these activities appear to have started shortly after Parex made a considerably glummer announcement in mid-May, when it said it was deliberately decreasing its production. It reckoned that output could get as low as 30,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day in May and June, down from 47,000 barrels a day in April. Analysts in response pinned their estimates for Parex's second quarter production at around 38,000 barrels a day. Now Parex has provided its own estimate (which should be reasonably accurate, given that less than a week of the quarter remains) and pegged its second quarter production at 41,200 barrels a day. This suggests that either the shut-ins were short-lived or that Parex was able to bring them back on-line quickly, or both.
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