Energy stocks were mostly higher this afternoon, with the NYSE Energy Sector Index climbing 1.5% while the SPDR Energy Select Sector ETF was up 1.1%.
Front-month West Texas Intermediate crude oil was rising 27 cents to $41 per barrel at the New York Mercantile Exchange while the global benchmark Brent crude contract was advancing 29 cents to $43.37 per barrel. Natural gas futures were 2 cents lower at $1.64 per 1 million BTU.
Among energy-related ETFs, the United States Oil Fund was ahead 0.7% while the United States Natural Gas fund was sliding 1.2%. The Philadelphia Oil Service Sector index was posting a 0.7% gain.
In company news, Sasol (SSL) climbed 7% after Tuesday saying the Guerbet alcohol unit at its Lake Charles, La., facility has achieved beneficial operations, lifting total project-wide capacity to 86% and its specialty chemicals capacity to 100%. The new Guerbet unit can produce up to 30,000 tons of alcohol per year.
Crescent Point Energy (CPG) rose 7.1% after the oil and natural gas company Tuesday announced plans to lower production emissions by 30% by 2025 as part of its 2020 sustainability report. It also pledged to adopt an operational technology platform to minimize the risk of spills, cut fleet emissions and lessen the risk of motor vehicle incidents.
BHP Group (BHP) was 2.2% higher following a Reuters report that the company has hired JPMorgan Chase (JPM) to coordinate the sale of its Mount Arthur thermal coal mine in Australia in response to shareholder concerns over global warming. A sale could generate between $1.5 billion to $1.8 billion in proceeds for BHP, banking sources told Reuters.
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