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Energy Summary for May 14, 2024

2024-05-14 19:32 ET - Market Summary

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by Stockwatch Business Reporter

West Texas Intermediate crude for June delivery lost $1.10 to $78.02 on the New York Merc, while Brent for July lost 98 cents to $82.38 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $12.10 to WTI, up from a discount of $14.10. Natural gas for June lost four cents to $2.34. The TSX energy index lost 2.74 points to close at 292.62.

Within the energy patch, investors are keeping a watchful eye on wildfires. A fire burning southwest of the oil sands heartland of Fort McMurray has now reached 9,600 hectares, up from 25 hectares when it first came to firefighters' attention last Friday, according to updates on the Alberta Wildfire website. Meanwhile, the British Columbia Wildfire Service says a blaze near Fort Nelson (a key pipeline and rail network terminus for the B.C. gas industry) has nearly doubled since yesterday to 8,400 hectares.

The blazes are bringing back unpleasant memories for energy investors. Last year, wildfires along the Alberta-B.C. border caused intermittent shut-ins at the operations of numerous producers, such as Tourmaline Oil Corp. (TOU: $65.56), Paramount Resources Ltd. (POU: $32.01), Vermilion Energy Inc. (VET: $16.37), Obsidian Energy Ltd. (OBE: $10.65), Baytex Energy Corp. (BTE: $4.66) and more. The toll on industry output was as much as 320,000 barrels a day. Investors would nonetheless prefer a repeat of that to a repeat of 2016, when a catastrophic 590,000-hectare fire knocked one million barrels a day off-line, razed parts of Fort McMurray to the ground and caused an estimated $9.9-billion in total damages -- the costliest disaster in Canadian history.

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