4 Energy Stock Stories To Fuel Investment Chatter On Thursday

BP (NYSE:BP): Closing price $42.10

BP is now pressing a federal judge to turn down a $111-million budget request by the court-supervised administrator of its multibillion-dollar resolution with Gulf Coast businesses and residents, subsequent to its 2010 Gulf oil spill. In a Wednesday court filing, BP attorneys said that claims administrator Patrick Juneau would not cut his office’s fourth-quarter budget request by a minimum of $25.5 million after BP complained that it was excessive. In August, United States District Judge Carl Barbier ordered the oil major to pay in excess of $130 million for Juneau’s third-quarter budget despite the firm’s objections.

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Valero Energy Corp. (NYSE:VLO): Closing price $34.79

Valero shares fell almost 4 percent on the day Thursday, as the company increased its capital-expenditure projections for 2014, and revealed a number of project delays at its refineries. Late Wednesday, the company released a slideshow prior to a Barclays investor conference the next day, with a boost to its 2014 capital expenditure guidance to a top-of-the-range $3 billion. What is more, expansion projects in the Port Arthur and Lake Charles refineries in Louisiana were moved back to 2018 from 2015.

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ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP): Closing price $68.76

ConocoPhillips said that it will partially close a key platform at its Ekofisk field in the Norwegian North Sea next week for repairs. Ekofisk represents one of the four crudes along with Brent, Forties and Oseberg that comprise the Brent BFOE world oil benchmark. The company told Reuters that, “We will be conducting repair work on the Ekofisk 2/4J processing platform. We take into account this type of activity in our overall business plans and expect the work will cause us to partly shut down the platform within the next week.” The oil major did not indicate how long the work would take, and also did not comment on its impact on output.

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Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDSA): Closing price $65.35

On Thursday Shell announced the appointment of John Abbott as Downstream Director effective from October 1. In his new position, Abbott will become a member of the firm’s Executive Committee and will replace Ben van Beurden who, as was previously reported, becomes chief executive effective January 1, 2014. Abbott is a United Kingdom national, and is presently executive vice president of manufacturing, responsible for around 30 oil refineries and petrochemicals plants globally.

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