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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for December delivery added $1.01 to $39.57 on the New York Merc, while Brent for December added 74 cents to $41.20 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $10.85 to WTI, unchanged. Natural gas for November stayed unchanged at $3.02. The TSX energy index lost a fraction to close at 66.09.
Oil prices climbed higher as U.S. Gulf Coast producers shut in roughly half of the region's production in preparation for Hurricane Zeta, which is expected to hit the coast tomorrow morning. For some offshore producers, this is the sixth time in four months that they have to shut down and evacuate platforms because of approaching hurricanes. This has been the busiest hurricane season since 2005. On top of that, the companies must contend with COVID-19 precautions that make restarting platforms and bringing back staff all the more difficult and time-consuming.
Here in Canada, quarterly reporting season kicked off with oil sands producer MEG Energy Corp. (MEG), which edged down one cent to $2.33 on 7.17 million shares, after releasing mixed financials for the third quarter. Investors saw the good as almost (but not quite) equally mixed with the bad. Although MEG's production of 71,500 barrels a day surpassed analysts' predictions of 68,300 barrels a day, its cash flow of nine cents a share still fell slightly below analysts' predictions of 11 cents a share. As well, the company lost money for the third consecutive quarter, even if it is narrowing its losses at a fast clip. It previously lost $284-million in the first quarter and $80-million in the second quarter. Analysts were expecting a loss of about $48-million in the third quarter, but instead MEG put the figure at just $9-million.
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