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Oil prices were up this week. For the most part, the price chart accelerated upward fairly rapidly as well. Monday showed a fairly steady incline with prices spiking upward mid-day on Tuesday. Wednesday saw another spike followed by a correction. Prices then increased again and were fairly steady for the remainder of the week. The overall market, as measured by the S&P 500 index, was a somewhat different story. The index was relatively flat on Monday and then began a rapid decline for the remainder of the week. This downward action was only interrupted by an upward spike on Thursday morning, but the market resumed its downward descent immediately afterward. This had, as usual, somewhat different effects on the six foreign integrated oil and gas stocks that I track in this update series.

Statoil (NYSE:STO) opened at $25.44 on October 8, 2012. The stock closed at $25.54 in after hours trading on October 12, 2012. Stockholders in the company thus profited from a gain of $0.10 per ADR share or 0.39% over the week. Statoil opened at $26.88 on September 17, 2012. This gives the stock a trailing four-week loss of $1.34 or 4.99%. Statoil announced this week that the company intends to divest itself of 230 onshore gas wells in the United States. This is due mostly to the fall in natural gas prices. In other words, the sale price of these wells may very well be below book value. It will also mean that should gas prices ever rebound, then Statoil will no longer have as strong of an ability to take advantage of a rebound in prices, should it happen. Then again, the company may be able to push for a great price for them. I will admit, though, that I was not especially pleased to hear about this development. The price has not yet been divulged, however, so any judgment on this development ultimately must wait until this information is available.

STO 5-Day Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

STO 4-Week Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

BP plc (NYSE:BP) opened the week at $41.96. The stock closed at $41.90 in after hours trading on October 12. BP's stockholders thus experienced a loss of $0.06 or 0.14% over the week. BP opened at $43.85 on September 17, 2012. Thus, shareholders of BP stock suffered a loss of $1.95 or 4.45% over the trailing four-week period. One of the biggest news stories of the week about BP was a report that the company is close to reaching a settlement with the U.S. Justice Department regarding the Deepwater Horizon disaster of 2010. This would remove much of the uncertainty that still hangs over the stock because of that court case. This may prove to be a catalyst that pushes the stock upward once the settlement is actually reached, depending on the exact terms of it.

BP 5-Day Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

BP 4-Week Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

Total S.A. (NYSE:TOT) opened on October 8 at $49.86 per share. The stock closed at $49.79 in after hours trading on October 12. This gives ADR shareholders a loss of $0.07 or 0.14% for the week. Total opened on September 17 at $54.48. Thus, stockholders have suffered a loss of $4.69 or 8.61% over the past four weeks. Total went ex-dividend on September 19. Shareholders as of the market close on the previous day will receive a dividend of about $0.69 per share. The dividend effectively reduces the loss over the trailing four week period to about $4.00 per share or 7.34%.

TOT 5-Day Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

TOT 4-Week Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

Suncor (NYSE:SU) opened on October 8 at $33.31. The stock closed at $33.00 in after hours trading on October 12. This gives the stock a loss of $0.31 or 0.93% for the week. The stock opened on September 17, 2012 at $35.19. Thus, Suncor stock has handed investors a loss of $2.19 or 6.22% over the trailing four week period. Stock ratings site TheStreet.com reiterated its BUY rating on Suncor stock on Monday. The website cited growth in revenue and cash flow combined with a very low debt-to-equity ratio.

SU 5-Day Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

SU 4-Week Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS.A) opened at $69.62 on October 8, 2012. The stock closed at $68.97 in after hours trading on Friday, October 12. Shareholders thus suffered a loss of $0.65 or 0.93% for the week. The stock opened at $72.90 on September 17, 2012. Shareholders thus suffered a loss of $3.93 per share or 5.39% over the trailing four-week period. The deputy secretary of the U.S. Interior Department reassured investors this week that Shell's permits to drill in the Alaskan Arctic will continue to be valid should President Obama be re-elected. There had been some fear that the administration would void these permits in order to cater to environmental interests. Meanwhile, Royal Dutch Shell has also applied for a crude oil export license from the U.S. government. This could put some pressure on the price of Brent crude due to the additional supply of U.S. oil that will be available on the market.

RDS.A 5-Day Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

RDS.A 4-Week Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

Eni (NYSE:E) opened at $44.71 on October 8. The stock closed at $44.80 in after hours trading on Friday, October 12. Shareholders thus witnessed a gain of $0.09 or 0.20% for the week. The stock opened at $48.65 on September 17, 2012. Shareholders thus suffered a loss of $3.85 per share or 7.91% over the trailing four-week period. Eni went ex-dividend on September 24. Thus, shareholders as of the close of the market on the preceding day will receive a dividend of approximately $1.09 per ADR share. The dividend thus effectively decreases the trailing four-week loss to $2.76 or 5.67%. The Italian government cut its stake in Eni this week, selling off 3.3% of the company to private investors. The Italian government owns approximately 25.76% of the company following this sale.

E 5-Day Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

E 4-Week Chart

Source: Fidelity Investments

These six stocks were mostly down over the past week, although two of them delivered small gains. None saw particularly large swings, however. The best performing stock over the past week was Statoil. Eni was the only other stock that delivered a gain to investors over the period. Suncor and Royal Dutch Shell tied for the worst performance. Each of these two companies handed a 0.93% loss to investors. The companies' stock performance over the trailing four-week period was nowhere near as mixed. Each of these firms handed a loss to its respective investors over the trailing period. The best performance (in this case meaning the smallest loss) was delivered by BP although Statoil was not particularly far behind it. The worst performer over the trailing four-week period was Total, even after accounting for dividends.

Source: Weekly Performance Update On 6 Foreign Integrated Oil And Gas Stocks