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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for July delivery added 48 cents to $37.29 on the New York Merc, while Brent for August got briefly above $40 (U.S.) -- its first time there in three months -- before closing up 22 cents to $39.79 (all figures in this para U.S.). Both benchmarks had a rocky day, as bullish U.S. data (specifically, a larger-than-expected decrease in weekly crude stockpiles) warred with bearish OPEC+ rumours (specifically, fading hopes for a meeting tomorrow to finalize an extension of the recent OPEC+ production cuts). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $7.12 to WTI, down from a discount of $6.58. Natural gas for July added four cents to $1.82. The TSX energy index added 1.22 points to close at 84.42.
Charle Gamba's Colombian gas producer, Canacol Energy Ltd. (CNE), added six cents to $3.93 on 585,500 shares, as it cheered a faster-than-expected strengthening in its gas sales. Investors seemed pleased but cautious. The earlier weakening in sales had caught Canacol off guard, given that it sells the majority of its gas through fixed-price contracts and thus saw itself as "insulated from the current effects of low worldwide oil prices" (its self-satisfied assessment when the downturn began in March). The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic lockdowns forced Canacol to admit that it was not quite as insulated as thought. Last month, acknowledging that industrial, construction and commercial gas demand had plummeted, Canacol said it would tweak its contract terms to allow for earlier-than-scheduled downtime, while adding that it was experiencing virtually no sales into the spot market (where it sells a sizable minority of uncontracted gas). The result was that Canacol nudged its 2020 production guidance of 205 million cubic feet a day (or about 36,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day) down to a range of 170 million to 192 million cubic feet a day.
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