Energy stocks extended their day-long declines on Monday, with the NYSE Energy Sector Index falling nearly 1.1% while shares of energy companies in the S&P 500 were down almost 0.9% as a group. Crude oil for January delivery settled 96 cents higher at $47.02 per barrel while January natural gas futures rose 12 cents to $3.32 per 1 million BTU.
In company news, Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A,RDS.B) declined today following reports the energy major is considering selling its oil fields in Iraq as part of a $30 billion global asset disposal program.
With oil prices still down by more than 50% from 2014, industry sources told Reuters the company wants to focus on business areas with the best returns – such as liquefied natural gas and deepwater oil production in Brazil and the Gulf of Mexico. Iraq accounted for about 4.4% of Shell’s total oil and gas production last year, according to its 2015 annual report.
RDS.A American depository receipts were nearly 2% lower at $49.22 apiece in late trade while RDS.B ADRs were down more than 2% at $52.02 each, retracing much of a prior drop to $51.97 per ADR.