3 Oil and Gas Shares Rising Fast
Oct 19th 2012 11:23AM
Updated Oct 19th 2012 12:12PM
LONDON -- Oil prices have remained fairly settled this week. Brent crude on the December contract was down by 0.25% on the week at $112.66 per barrel shortly after U.S. markets opened on Friday, while demand for U.S. WTI crude was firmer, opening today 1.9% higher on the week at $93.14.
Natural gas for November delivery has also gained, and was up by 0.5% to $3.60/mmbtu when U.S. markets opened on Friday, after rising firmly on Thursday.
Many investors prefer to invest in commodity ETFs rather than directly in futures, and the¬†United States Oil Fund¬† (NYS: USO) was up by 1.3% on the week at $34.34 when U.S. markets opened today. Meanwhile, the¬†United States Natural Gas Fund¬† (NYS: UNG) was broadly unchanged, down by 0.7% at $23.01.
The nature of oil and gas companies means that they can succeed or fail regardless of oil prices. This week's risers have all outperformed the price of oil by a big margin during the week:
Murphy Oil¬† (NYS: MUR) gained 8% to $63.21 this week -- a large gain for a $12 billion company -- as investors showed their approval of its decision to follow peers¬†Marathon Oil¬†and ConocoPhillips¬†in spinning off its downstream activities into a new company, Murphy Oil USA. The company also announced that it would pay a $2.50 per share special dividend on Dec. 3 and begin a $1 billion share buyback plan.
President Energy¬† (ISE: PPC.L) has gained 6% this week to 21.75 pence. The gains follow a successful ¬£31 million fundraising at the start of October needed to fund President's "farm-in" of two exploration blocks in Paraguay. According to the company, the deal is potentially transformational, adding that the blocks have a "gross risked recoverable resource potential" of greater than 150 million barrels. President's shareholders will be hoping the momentum continues -- the company's shares remain 39% down year to date.
Carrizo Oil & Gas¬† (NAS: CRZO) is up 8% to $28.19 so far this week, following news that it has sold the majority of its acreage in the Utica Shale play for $43 million. Carrizo retains a 10% interest in the play, which is primarily located in Ohio. The deal brings the total value of Carrizo's divestments so far this year to $294 million. Carrizo also owns 15% of the Huntington field in the North Sea, which is expected to begin production later this year.
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The article 3 Oil and Gas Shares Rising Fast originally appeared on Fool.com.Roland Head does not own any of the shares mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.
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