Oil prices were on the move today, as the EIA's Weekly Petroleum report showed U.S. crude oil inventories decreased by 1.3 million barrels in the past week and the Federal Reserve announced that it will continue its purchases of $85 billion of long-term assets every month. Today's hot topic was a major find in the Gulf of Mexico.
At 4:00 pm ET on Tuesday, Brent crude was up 1.02% to $108.55 and WTI crude was up 0.90% to $93.35. U.S. natural gas was down 0.55% to $3.95.
Today's top stocks
Today's leader was Cobalt International Energy (NYSE: CIE ) , up 8.07% to $27.87. Yesterday after the market closed, Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE: APC ) announced a major find at its Shenandoah 2R appraisal well, with more than 1,000 feet of net oil pay, which it operates and holds a 30% working interest in. Other partners in the find include Cobalt, with a 20% working interest, ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP ) , with a 30% working interest, and Marathon Oil (NYSE: MRO ) and Venari Resources, which each hold 10%.
Source: Cobalt International Energy March 2013 report.
Anadarko has high hopes for the area, saying that the company believes the Shenandoah Basin has "the potential to become one of the most prolific new areas in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico." Analysts expect the well to be able to produce between 500 million and 1 billion barrels of oil over its lifetime and add $3 to $6 per share in earnings for Anadarko.
In the joint announcement, Cobalt also announced better-than-expected results at its North Platte discovery, which Cobalt has a 60% working interest in, with the rest owned by French oil giant Total. he company had expected a net oil pay of 350 feet, but the drilling results came in at more than 550 feet of net oil pay. While half as large as Shenandoah 2R, Cobalt's much larger stake makes this nearly as significant of a find for the company.
Second among oil and gas stocks today was SandRidge Energy (NYSE: SD ) , up 5.58% to $5.68. After falling slightly on Monday and 3.6% yesterday, today's jump takes SandRidge back above where it started the week on no real news. Last week, the incumbent management of SandRidge Energy settled with 7.3% shareholder TPG-Axon instead of going through a proxy battle. While TPG-Axon had been aiming to replace the entire board, in the settlement the company agreed to add TPG-Axon's four nominees to the board. TPG-Axon was adamant on the management change-up after it was alleged that SandRidge had been allowing CEO Tom Ward's son to acquire rights and drill wells near SandRidge operations.
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