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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for May delivery lost $2.80 to $58.65 on the New York Merc, while Brent for June lost $2.71 to $62.15 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $9.79 to WTI, up from a discount of $10.30. Natural gas for May lost 13 cents to $2.51. The TSX energy index lost 2.96 points to close at 117.52.
Oil prices plunged on spiking COVID-19 cases around the world, particularly India. India is the world's third-largest oil importer, but is now fuelling concerns about future demand levels. The country put its largest city, Mumbai, on lockdown today as nationwide COVID-19 infections hit a new daily record.
Consolidation in the U.S. shale industry is hitting new records as well. Late Thursday evening, just ahead of the long weekend, Pioneer Natural Resources announced its planned takeover of the private DoublePoint Energy for $6.4-billion (U.S.). This is the largest takeover of a private U.S. oil producer in a decade. Of course, once public targets are thrown into the mix, this is not even the highest price tag seen this year: ConocoPhillips bought Concho Resources in January for $9.7-billion (U.S.). This was one of several U.S. shale acquisitions recently, including Chevron's purchase of Noble Energy for $12.1-billion (U.S.) last October, Devon Energy's purchase of WPX Energy for $5.8-billion (U.S.) in early January and the above Pioneer's separate purchase of Parsley Energy for $4.5-billion (U.S.) in mid-January.
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