Markets were on the move today as fear rose that the events in Cyprus could damage the European economy. While the S&P 500 was down 0.33%, the VIX (VOLATILITYINDICES:^VIX) and oil prices rose. At 4:00 p.m. ET on Monday, Brent crude was up 0.24% to $107.92 and WTI crude was up 0.90% to $94.55. U.S. natural gas was down 1.60% to $3.86.
Today's top 3
Among companies with market caps greater than $1 billion, today's oil and gas stocks leader was Halcon Resources (NYSE:HK), up 4.02% to $7.25. The company, an exploration and production specialist with assets in the Bakken, Utica, and Woodbine regions, rose on no real news, though one possibility is ZaZa Energy's (NASDAQOTH:ZAZA) sale of acreage in Texas. On the other hand, while ZaZa does own land near Halcon, what Zaza sold today was near the center of the state, as opposed to the Woodbine area in the east. Joel South recently laid out why Halcon Resources is one of his top two holdings. You can see his video here to find out why.
Second among oil and gas stocks today was InterOil (NYSE:IOC), up 3.04% to $75.95. Interoil is the developer of the massive Elk and Antelope natural gas fields in Papua New Guinea and has an LNG export facility to go along with it. This morning, InterOil announced that it had completed the farm-in transaction with Pacific Rubiales Energy that it had previously announced last July. InterOil sold Pacific Rubiales Energy a 10% net interest in Petroleum Prospecting License 237 for $116 million, which includes the Triceratops field. This completion of the transaction included the remaining payment of $55 million InterOil was due from Pacific Rubiales Energy.
We continue to wait and see who will partner with InterOil to build out the offshore facilities needed to explore and produce LNG. The government has said it will approve the export facility only if the government finds InterOil's partner to be acceptable. We will have to wait and see what happens with this one.
Third among oil and gas stocks today was the Bristow Group (NYSE:BRS), up 2.65% to $65.00. Bristow Group provides helicopter services to the offshore energy industry. This morning J.P. Morgan initiated coverage on the company with an overweight rating and a target of $77. Last month, Motley Fool Pro advisor Jeff Fischer laid out why he believes Bristow Group is overvalued. Since then the stock is up 10%. Investors should watch out.