NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 06/08/12 -- Oil stocks received a boost Wednesday as Oil rose for the third consecutive day, and U.S. oil inventories showed a small decline. The SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (XOP) -- which seeks to replicate the performance of the S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production Select Industry Index -- jumped over 3 percent in Wednesday trading. The Paragon Report examines investing opportunities in the Oil & Gas Industry and provides equity research on BP plc (NYSE: BP) and ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP).
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Prices for Brent crude reached over $100 Wednesday in London, and benchmark oil jumped $1.28 to $85.56 per barrel. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will be speaking before Congress, and a key factor will be Bernanke's thoughts on the less than stellar May jobs report. May saw the fewest jobs added in almost a year, 69,000 jobs, and saw the unemployment rate jump from 8.1 percent to 8.2 percent. "If he thinks it's bad and his mandate is full employment, the odds of a stimulus go up," Price Futures Group analyst Phil Flynn said.
The Energy Department on Wednesday reported U.S. oil inventories saw their first decline in 11 weeks. U.S. crude oil supplies fell by 100,000 barrels to 384.6 million, the total is still 4.2 percent above last year's total according to the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration weekly report.
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BP has lifted Force Majeure in respect of its Libyan Exploration and Production Sharing Agreement (EPSA) with the National Oil Corporation (NOC) effective 15th May 2012. Dr. Michael Daly, BP's Executive Vice President for Exploration said: "The lifting of Force Majeure is a significant milestone in BP's plans to return to the exploration of onshore and offshore blocks in our existing EPSA contract. We look forward to working with the NOC and our partners in the Libyan Investment Authority to safely implement our drilling program."
ConocoPhillips last month announced that it has completed the spinoff of its downstream businesses to its stockholders. With the completion of this transaction, ConocoPhillips is the world's largest independent exploration and production (E&P) company, based on proved reserves and production of liquids and natural gas. The company announced a quarterly dividend of 66 cents per share, which was paid on June 1, 2012, to stockholders of record at the close of business on May 21, 2012.
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