9-26-13 5:18 PM EDT | Email Article

By Claudia Assis, MarketWatch


SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Energy stocks rose on Thursday, with Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. taking the lead after the exploration and production company said it sees production growth of up to 50% next year.


The independent E&P company also reaffirmed guidance of production growth around 44% to 54% this year over last year's production. Cabot (COG) is confident in its ability to provide "best in class" production growth for 2014, the company said in a statement.


In a recent presentation to investors, Cabot said it produced about 268 billion cubic feet of natural gas equivalent.


Cabot's production volumes have taken a hit in recent weeks as the company has decided to hold back due to recent lower prices for Marcellus shale natural gas and maintenance projects, it said in a statement. These, however, "are short-term phenomena that will not have an impact on our production growth in 2013 and beyond," Cabot said. Shares of Cabot rose 4.4%.


Shares of Kinder Morgan Inc. (KMI) rose less than 0.1% on Thursday.


Hedgeye Risk Management analyst Kevin Kaiser has issued a second report about the pipeline operator, saying Kinder Morgan's recent webcast to rebuff his criticism hadn't changed his mind about the company. Kinder Morgan's maintenance practices are still questionable and the company hasn't been able to justify them, Kaiser said.


Shares of major oil and gas companies declined Thursday, with Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) down less than 0.1%. Shares of Chevron Corp. (CVX) declined 0.5%, while shares of ConocoPhillips (COP) fell 0.1%.


U.S.-listed shares of Norway's Statoil ASA (STO) rose 1.5%. Statoil said Thursday it made its biggest discovery outside Norway in offshore eastern Canada, estimating reserves between 300 million barrels and 600 million barrels of recoverable oil. The Bay du Nord field is near two previous Statoil discoveries. The company has in recent years expanded exploration beyond its home country.


The SPDR Energy Select Sector (XLE), an exchange-traded fund focused on energy stocks, rose 0.2%.

-Claudia Assis; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com


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09-26-13 1718ET

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Morningstar - 2013/9/26 - UPDATE: Cabot Oil & Gas leads energy stocks higher
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