The stock value of energy companies, including BP Plc (NYSE:BP) (LON:BP), Alpha Natural Resources, Inc. (NYSE:ANR), and WPX Energy Inc (NYSE:WPX), declined during the midafternoon trading at the New York Stock Exchange today, due to pressures, and particularly, the low price of crude oil.
The stock price of BP Plc (NYSE:BP) (LON:BP), dropped by more than 1 percent to $ $42.74 per share. In addition to pressures from lower crude oil prices and losses in broad equity markets, the company’s stock was also affected by an investigation launched by the Norwegian Petroleum Safety Authority for a possible oil leak at its Ula Oil Field in the North Sea.
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Another issue that has a great impact on BP’s stock value, is the ongoing legal charges filed by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) against the company, in connection with the Deepwater Horizon blowout. Federal authorities alleged that BP violated the Clean Water Act for its gross negligence in managing the situation. BP plc (NYSE:BP) (LON:BP) expressed its willingness to settle the case on a fair and reasonable term. The DOJ is demanding $25 billion to settle all the civil and criminal charges the company.
Alpha Natural Resources, Inc. (NYSE:ANR) went down by more than 2 percent, to $7.90 per share, primarily due to reports that the company plans to shut down its coal mines and cut 1,200 jobs.
The company is restructuring its business away from power-plant-coal, due to weak demand. The business became less profitable because the price of the fuel went down. The company plans to cut its coal production by 15 percent from its coal output last year, wherein 10 percent of the reduction will come from mines that produce low quality metallurgical coal. The powerplant coal operations in Appalachia and Wyoming Powder River Basin will be primarily affected by the reduction.
The company is focused on improving its capability to sell metallurgical coal, and to find new market for its steelmaking and power-plant coal overseas. The stock price of Alpha Natural Resources, Inc. (NYSE:ANR) dropped by 60 percent this year.
Meanwhile, shares of WPX Energy Inc (NYSE:WPX) declined by almost 5 percent, to $16.58 per share, today during the midafternoon trading, primarily due to lower crude oil prices and losses in the equity markets. Analysts from research firm Howard Weil had previously upgraded its stock rating for the company to “outperform”, with a $23 price target.