4 Energy Stock Stories Sparking Midweek Investment Chatter

Statoil (NYSE:STO): Closing price $21.01

Norway’s Statoil has commenced the drilling of an anxiously-watched exploration well on the Cliffhanger North prospect at the Johan Sverdrup discovery, that could further reinforce resource potential at the giant find. The 16/2-18 S bore is now being drilled by the semi-submersible rig Ocean Vanguard on the western fault margin of Sverdrup in Statoil-operated production license 265, says Statoil’s partner Lundin Petroleum. Statoil holds a 40-percent operated interest in the license, with partners Det Norske Oljeselskap and Lundin at 20 and 10 percent, respectively.

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STO

Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDSA): Closing price $65.20

Shell will pay in excess of $118 million to settle claims that its refinery and chemical plant near Houston emitted harmful amounts of benzene and other air pollutants, according to the Justice Department. It was alleged that Shell Oil and its affiliates violated the Clean Air Act through an improper operation of its steam-operated flaring devices at a large refinery and factory in Deer Park, Texas. Shell will invest $100 million on tech to lower pollution from flares, which burn waste gases. It is mandated that the oil major minimize flaring by recycling waste gases, and also to improve the efficiency of its flaring.

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RDSA

Nabors Industries (NYSE: NBR): Closing price $14.98

Nabors shares have been downgraded at Goldman Sachs from Conviction Buy to Buy, along with a new price target of $19.50, reduced from $22. The reaction is from a second-quarter earnings warning issued by Nabors on Tuesday. Goldman lowered its 2013/14 earnings per share estimate from $1.04/$1.85 to 82 cents/$1.37. EBITDA for 2013/14 was cut by 5 and 9 percent, respectively. The analysts commented in part that ”We are disappointed by the new guidance as we were confident that Nabors would meet our forecast of $119mn in EBIT. We were expecting the company’s manufacturing and logistics business to report about $6mn in EBIT, but we believe most likely that business returned a loss, which would explain perhaps half of the miss.”

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NBR

SM Energy Co. (NYSE:SM): Closing price $64.12

SM Energy said Wednesday that it has engaged an advisor to market all of its Anadarko Basin properties, among which include its Granite Wash interests. It is expected that the marketing process will take around six months. Output from the assets marks a small bit over 9,000 barrels of energy equivalent per day, of which 75 percent is natural gas, which comprises about 8 percent of the firm’s total production in the first quarter of 2013. The Anadarko basin assets include roughly 56,000 net mineral acres. SM Energy regularly reviews its asset portfolio so as to identify opportunities to high grade and focus its inventory via sales like this planned sale, the proceeds of which it expects to fund strategic projects in its portfolio.

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SM

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